Northwest Allen County Schools Looking at $800K Budget Deficit

By John W. Davis

August 22, 2011 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 11:48 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - If we stay the course, we'll have a balanced budget by the end of 2013.

That's the mission from Northwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Chris Himsel.

The Northwest Allen County School Board held a regular session and work session meeting Monday night.

The topic of the night: 2012 budget.

Superintendent Himsel said in January 2011, Northwest Allen faced a $2.4 million deficit.

However, eight months later, that number has shriveled to less than $800,000 dollars.

Himsel said a 3% pay cut for all NACS teachers and staff members, including Superintendent Himsel saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Himsel explained that an additional $1,000,000 has been saved through an energy cost management program.

Those savings, have left the district with what they consider a manageable deficit that will be balanced with more efficient cuts.

"It's just more of the same. It's more of continuing to renegotiate with our vendors and try to stabilize and hold those funds whenever possible," explained Northwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Chris Himsel.

"Try to look at our supply budgets, and our energy costs and reduce wherever possible. Combine job functions wherever we can and then being proactive on things such as our (wellness) health clinic," Himsel said.

The 2012 general fund budget is projected at $34.8 million dollars.

Although, $800,000 dollars will need to be cut, Himsel told Indiana's NewsCenter the budget will be balanced without closing any schools or laying off any teachers.

District leaders said if no cuts were made over recent years, NACS would be facing a $6 million dollar deficit.

A 2012 budget public hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. at the Northwest Allen County School Board meeting.

Meanwhile, the NACS board could vote to approve the budget on Monday, October 10.

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Meanwhile, Superintendent Himsel told board members that Northwest Allen County Schools receives the 6th lowest amount of state funding of all 293 school district in Indiana.

Himsel said he would support a more "equitable" share of state funding.




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