A: Over time Western Wayne has seen a significant decrease in annual funding. Over the past twelve years, funding has decreased by $1.8 million. While we have made cuts to try to adjust to these changes we have had to rely upon our Rainy Day Fund for several years to balance the budget at the end of the year. We have used $1 million of our rainy day funds over the past 5 years. With this fund balance currently at $804,908, we know that we are not going to be able to sustainably rely on these funds as we move forward, and our choice is to either make cuts to find a balanced budget (eventually cutting programs that our students deserve) or ask for a referendum. Q: Why has our funding decreased?
A: There are several factors that have caused our funding loss. Changes made in 2009 and 2010 eliminated small/rural schools and restoration grants and the state took over the general fund (which is a more stable source of revenue). The biggest issue for Western Wayne is declining enrollment. Since our decline started in the 96-97 school year, we have declined by 355 students. Q: Why are students leaving Western Wayne?
A: When discussing issues as sensitive as potential tax increases, it can be tempting to look for someone (or something to blame). While we are feeling the repercussions of population decline more now than we ever have, this is not a new issue. As mentioned above, our decline began in 96-97. We do have students that choose to leave Western Wayne from time to time to attend other school districts. We also have a growing number of students who live outside of Western Wayne, but choose to attend our schools. The largest issue we face is the difference between the number of students that we lose in our graduating senior class and the number of students who enroll in kindergarten. Q: How do we know that our population will continue to decline?
A: As we analyze future graduating classes and anticipate small kindergarten numbers, we believe that our declining enrollment will continue for the next several years. We are working hard every day to make our school the type of place that everyone wants to attend, and we will continue to do so forever. However, we believe our students (and their families) deserve the ability to know that the programs that equip them for life after graduation will remain in place. We know that hope for population growth is not a good strategy for accomplishing this goal. Q: How much money are you asking for?
A: We are asking for a 19 cent (on every $100 of net assessed value) increase, which would lead to (approximately) an additional $500,000 in our annual budget. We believe this is enough to maintain our current programs, have the ability to consider restoring programs we have cut in the past, maintain manageable class sizes, and adequately compensate our employees. We believe that this amount of funding will allow us to continue to provide the education that our students deserve. Q: What will happen if the referendum does not pass?
A: Unfortunately, a failed referendum will result in immediate cuts that will lead to higher class sizes and fewer services for students. Our next opportunity to try for a referendum (without a petition from the community or a special election) will be May 2022, and we will need to make cuts in order to get to this date. Q: What will we do with the money if the referendum passes?
A: Additional revenue that comes as a result of the referendum will go towards balancing the budget. We will work to ensure that current programming that is in place will be able to remain in place. We will consider options for restoring positions and programs that have been eliminated, and we will compensate our employees so that we can retain and hire the best individuals available. Q: I heard the schools are going to close. Is this true?
A: Our schools are not going to close in the foreseeable future. If the referendum is successful we will be ablet o balance the budget for the next 8 years. If the referendum fails, we will make the necessary cuts in order to find a balanced budget. These cuts will result in the loss of programs and resources that benefit our students. Q: What will the ballot question look like?
A: For the eight (8)calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall Western Wayne Schools impose a property tax rate that does not exceed nineteen cents ($0.19) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding and maintaining current educational programs and class sizes, restoring programs that have been cut, and retaining and compensating employees? Q: What will this cost me?
A: In order to calculate what this will cost you:
- Find your Total Assessed Value
- Subtract any deductions to find your Net Assessed Value
- Divide your Net Assessed Value by 100
- Multiply this figure by .19 (19 cents)
A: Net Assessed Value is your assessed value after subtracting deductions. Q: What are the types of deductions on my tax statement?
A: The two homestead deductions available to residents are (1) the standard homestead deduction and (2) the supplemental homestead deduction.
- The standard homestead deduction is either 60% of a property’s assessed value or a maximum of $45,000, (whichever is less).
- The supplemental homestead deduction is based on the assessed value of your property and equals:
- 35% of the assessed value of a property that is less than $600,000
- 25% of the assessed value of a property that is more than $600,000
A: See the link below for information about the disbursement of lottery revenue. https://faqs.in.gov/hc/en-us/articles/115005241128-How-is-the-revenue-from-the-Hoosier-Lottery-distributed-