The state's school funding formula is leaving Zionsville students behind, according to Zionsville Community Schools Superintendent Scott Robison and Chief Financial Officer Mike Shafer. While "the house" is fine at the moment, "the foundation" is crumbling, Shafer said in a recorded PowerPoint presentation shown by Robison at the school board meeting Monday, Sept. 9. In the current fiscal year, Zionsville lags behind the state average in per-pupil funding by $439. By 2015, that gap is estimated to be $828 — $4.75 million for the year, or the equivalent of 75 teacher salaries. "We're pretty proud of being able to do with the funding we have, but how long can we do it?" Shafer said in an interview Friday, Sept. 6. He said the corporation will lose the ability to keep doing what its doing with continued funding loss. Increasing enrollment and decreasing base funding is the heart of the issue, he said. The new school funding formula, which significantly altered the mechanism used to set per-pupil funding for every school district in Indiana, is being phased in over seven years to equalize school corporations. That means some schools, despite a 3-percent increase in state funding for K-12 approved in late April for the 2014-15 state budget, may continue to see their funding flat-lined or decreased for several years until they reach the new "set point" in the formula. Others will see a steady increase. “We're trying to make sure all students are treated equally,” said Rep. Jeff Thompson (R- Danville), who helped craft the new formula. But Shafer, Robison and many of their colleagues in similar districts don't see it as equitable. They're still feeling the hit from a $300-million cut in K-12 education funding in the last state budget cycle, and they were hoping for more than the modest 3-percent increase in K-12 funding in the next budget cycle. Shafer explained the new funding formula has two parts: basic tuition support and other categoricals, such as special education and honors programs. Funding for the categoricals is based on head counts in those programs. "We're not concerned about the categoricals per se," he said. "Basic tuition support is the real area of concern." See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.
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- Ford Road bridge to close about Aug. 1 Construction of a detour is nearly complete, and the Ford Road bridge over Eagle Creek will be closed on or about Aug. 1, Boone County Highway Superintendent Rick Carney said Monday, July 21.
- Library patrons learn about herb gardening There are more than 300 species of thyme, which has antiseptic properties and has had many uses throughout the ages, including rubbing it into the eyes to bring about visions of fairies. "Which I would imagine, if you grind herbs into your eyes, you'd be seeing fairies," quipped Amy Mullen, The Fraudulent Farmgirl blogger and lead designer at Spotts Garden Service in Indianapolis.
- Zionsville ranked No. 1 safe place in state An analysis by staff at the Movoto Real Estate Blog found that the safest city in Indiana is Zionsville.
- Whitestown to have commuter bus service Commuter bus service is coming to Whitestown through the Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority.
- Plan Commission recommends approval for downtown study The downtown parking study and market analysis is one approval away from being added to the town's comprehensive plan.
- Downtown plan outlines strategies, goals The town of Zionsville is about to have another tool to help market and shape the future of the Village. A draft of the downtown Zionsville market study and parking analysis was presented to the working group Tuesday morning, June 24. It outlines several strategies and goals to help make downtown Zionsville more economically viable. The plan comes after the town adopted a strategic plan for the southeast quadrant of Zionsville as well as a comprehensive plan for the town.
- Zionsville local is crowned Miss Boone County Rachel Miller of Zionsville was crowned 2014 Miss Boone County 4-H Fair on Sunday, July 13. The 2013 Miss Boone County, Kate Emmert, was at the Witham Health Services Pavilion on the 4-H Fairgrounds to pass off her crown to Miller.
- Work set to begin on summer projects The Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees, at it's Monday, July 14, meeting, approved all summer construction projects and purchases for the corporation.
ZFD Knocks Down Fire
The Zionsville Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at 7880 Circle Drive around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday night, July 9.
VIDEO: Fourth of July celebration fills Lions Park
Residents swarmed into Lions Park for Zionsville's Fourth of July celebration. The event included a watermelon eating contest, food, a kids area with inflatables, music, and of course, fireworks.
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