News release from Fort Wayne Community Schools:
FWCS Budget Moves to New State Format in 2019
The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees was presented a budget for 2019 on Monday that uses the new format of dividing non-debt funds and expenses into two categories – education and operations.
Prior to 2019, FWCS had a budget based on six different funds, each with their own guidelines for how the funds can be spent. A change in state law reduces the number of non-debt funds to two. The General Fund is now the Education Fund; the Capital Projects, Transportation, Bus Replacement, Racial Balance and Museum of Art and a portion of the General Fund were combined to become the Operations Fund.
“This new funding structure provides school districts more flexibility in budgeting; however, FWCS will still maintain a commitment to following a disciplined approach to funding all the areas of operations as we have in the past,” Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend said. “This budget establishes the baseline for how we will continue to budget in the future.”
The 2019 budget is a 4 percent increase over the 2018 budget. The $305.9 million plan continues to focus on spending the maximum amount in the classroom, specifically for teachers, classroom assistants, magnet programs and classroom materials and supplies.
Property owners should see a minimal change in the property taxes paid to FWCS with a 3 percent increase in the tax rate. The owner of a $100,000 home with the homestead exemption can expect to pay about $8 more than last year.
The budget will be available online Tuesday, Sept. 25, at https://gateway.ifionilne.org. A public hearing on the proposed 2018 budget will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, in the Grile Administrative Center, 1200 S. Clinton St. Board members will vote on the plan at the Oct. 22 Board meeting.
About Fort Wayne Community Schools
With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.