Hammond School Board defers NIPSCO payments for November and December to 2019 after learning that state would recapture $1.8M due to declining enrollment.
December 19, 2019-Hammond residents learned tonight that the School City of Hammond received a report from a consultant regarding the districts current financial state. The report was not shared with the public but was discussed by Trustee Cindy Murphy during a discussion regarding employee raises. Trustee Murphy stated that Chief Financial Officer Theo Boone has put employee payroll for 38 employees into the referendum fund and has deferred NIPSCO bills for two months. Trustee Murphy questioned how the bills could be paid next year with decreased enrollment and a looming fiscal cliff.
Trustee Janiec responded that the district has faced numerous challenges over the years and has always met the challenges. Trustee Murphy responded that the pay raises would ultimately lead to employees being furloughed. “These people deserve this raise, but how can we give it when we know that we are going to cut positions in order to pay for it?”
Additionally Trustee Murphy warned that the self-insurance fund was dangerously low. According to Trustee Murphy the self-insurance fund was supposed to be maintained at $2.5M and it is currently at $1.5M. School CFO Theo Boone suggested that increased revenue based on increased tax revenue in 2019 could make up the shortfall and that we should revisit open enrollment.
We hope to obtain a copy of the consultant’s report regarding the financial condition of the schools and share it with readers in the coming days. Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for more breaking stories and original reporting.