Zionsville Times Sentinel

February 5, 2014

Schools face transportation woes

By Andrea McCann Times Sentinel Managing Editor
Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — A law passed in 2012 and set to go into effect this July has many school corporations concerned about keeping their buses running, but Zionsville Community Schools Chief Financial Officer Mike Shafer said relief may be in sight.

The "protected levy" or "protected tax" law requires school districts to apply their property tax revenues to debt payments before other expenses. But property taxes were capped in 2008 with the "circuit breaker" law, taking money away from school corporations, especially in districts like Zionsville and surrounding communities with more residential than commercial taxpayers.

"Historically, transportation received significant funding directly from the state, but it was dropped during a past recession," Shafer explained. "Transportation since that time became funded solely from property taxes.

"State statute says a school corporation is required to provide bus transportation for students."

That begs the question: Since bus transportation and tax caps are state mandated, should the state be obligated to provide funding for school bus transportation?

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.