BCSC approves $900k bond to provide for technology needs

Bartholomew Consolidated Schools have approved a plan to borrow over $900,000  to provide for the technology needs of students and staff next year.

Chad Phillips, the assistant superintendent for financial services, said that the loan maximum will be just over $995 thousand dollars but the expected costs are closer to $900 thousand dollars.

According to numbers provided at last month’s school board meeting, the district plans to spend just over $586,000 to purchase laptops for next year’s estimated 997 incoming freshmen. The district also plans to purchase 373 devices for teachers and staff at a cost of almost $314,000. Those devices will include a mix of desktops, laptops and Chrome books according to district officials.

The bond would be paid off in a single year and Phillips estimates that because of rising assessed property values, taxpayers will not see any impact from the new bond.

Because of state funding changes, Phillips estimated that the district will have to make similar loans going forward to fund capital projects.

The school board approved the bond last night.

In other business, Bartholomew Consolidated Schools nailed down their 2020 budget during last night’s school board meeting. At a total of $117 million, it would be an increase of just under 2 percent of this year’s $115 million dollar budget.

Phillips talks about next steps for the approval process

During earlier budget discussions, Phillips briefed school board members on the impact that skyrocketing health care costs were having on budgets. He said last month that there were cuts across the budget to cover the costs. Current spending had gotten so bad that the district was unable to pay all of its outstanding claims in September, having to make payment arrangements and prioritizing the claims.

At last night’s meeting, Phillips said there is some good news. As of late September, The health trust fund is again in the black and the district has had three weeks in a row, where it was able to pay all of its claims on time.

The school board approved the 2020 budget last night.