MUNCIE, Ind. — Following a rejected measure to provide funding for Muncie Community Schools (MCS) school bus service, the district may get funding for the third year of a new bus contract from an uptick in teacher retirements, The Star Press reports.
MCS Board Chief Financial Officer Mark Burkhart explained at a work session last week how the increase in the number of teachers retiring this year can make up the rest of the shortfall for the third year of a new bus contract without layoffs or a Reduction in Force if enough of those positions are not replaced. Changes in state law have made retirement a more appealing option to current eligible staff members, according to The Star Press.
MCS will use its savings to pay for bus service over the next two years, according to the newspaper.
In an attempt to mitigate a significant loss in the transportation funds in coming years because of tax caps and protected taxes legislation, MCS tried last year to gain enough public support for a referendum to raise money for bus service through a property tax increase, but the measure was rejected. A subsequent waiver to end bus service starting next year was denied, leaving the district to come up with other ways to fund school bus service.
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