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Valparaiso Community Schools looking to increase budget in 2023

Valparaiso Community Schools

Valparaiso Community Schools is asking for more money next year. The school district plans to request a $92.2 million budget for 2023, an increase of almost $7 million from this year. Much of that would cover increased costs in salaries, insurance and benefits, according to chief financial officer Jim Holifield.

But the school district's property tax rate would actually go down slightly. That's because much of the budget increase would be in the Education Fund, which comes mainly from sales tax revenues distributed by the state, based on the number of students.

"We do have more students. Our [average daily membership] is going to be higher this year than it was last year, and also, the state, the legislature, approved an increase to the dollar amount. It went up about $300 per student, so that's significant," Holifield told the school board Thursday.

School Board President Jennifer Bognar was happy with the proposed figures. "I think it's wonderful that we can, you know, offer a tax rate at, actually slightly less than last year and still meet all of our needs," Bognar said.

Since Valparaiso's school board is appointed and not elected, the proposed budget has to go to the city council for approval. Council members are scheduled to take comments on the budget on September 26, before voting on October 10.