Indian River School District Prepares for Possible Budget Cuts - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Indian River School District Prepares for Possible Budget Cuts and 2nd Expense Referendum

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SELBYVILLE, Del. - As the Indian River School District prepares for its second expense referendum on Thursday March 2, 2017, they say they're also facing budget cuts from state education funds. 

Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting says Delaware has asked its Department of Education to cut $15 million from district budgets. Bunting says it appears $900,000 of that $15 million would come from the Indian River School District. Bunting says the state may cut $600,000 from transportation funds and $300,000 from funds used for staffing. Bunting says they are already investigating how they can handle these cuts as they approach the March 2nd referendum.

"If there's a place where we can be a little more cautious and conservative with our funding, we will be in the process of doing that," she says. "Concurrent with running the referendum." 

Much of the March 2nd referendum will resemble the November referendum that failed by 20 votes. The 6 polling places and times are identical, and the referendum money would still come out of property taxes-- about 49 cents to every 100 dollars of assessed value. One difference is how the money is siphoned-- it's now divided into three categories. Out of each 49 cents, 33 cents will go to "Student Enrollment Growth", eight cents to "School Safety" and 8 cents to the new, broader "Student Services and Support" category. 

Superintendent Bunting says the third category allows the district to combat the potential $900,000 state budget cut.

"It gives the board some flexibility," she tells WBOC. "We won't know what the state finally decides until the end of June, and that will be later than our referendum, so we needed the elasticity." 

Bunting says the district is also increasing its outreach efforts this time around, like by creating a twitter account and making more presentations to potential voters throughout the county.

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