With the threat of a state takeover looming, the district takes steps to eliminate a deficit of as much as $18 million.
Three elementary schools in the Muncie district will close at the end of the school year.
With legislation pending that would lead to a state takeover of the district, the Muncie (Ind.) school board has voted to close three elementary schools.
Fox 59 reports that the closure of Mitchell, Storer and Sutton elementary schools will help the district shrink a deficit as large as $18 million. School officials estimate closing the schools will save about $3 million.
The 3-2 vote to close campuses comes after the state house of representatives passed a bill last week to take over the district. The legislation is waiting for a Senate vote.
The board had been considering closing three elementary schools and Northside Middle. In the end, the board spared the middle school for now.
At the board meeting, parents expressed concerns about how large class sizes will be after the closings. And others felt the cuts need to be even deeper to balance the books.
In addition to cost-cutting by closing schools, superintendent Steve Baule says they’ve scoured all their finances for savings, from insurance policies to printing costs.
“We’ve got about a $15 million issue, but now we’re at the point where we have about $13 million of that addressed,” says Baule.
With state aid decreasing because of a continued drop in enrollment, the shortfall could be closer to $18 million next year.