Decatur Township schools may notify the state of plans to cut transportation services in 2017.
The school board approved a resolution Tuesday to notify the Indiana Department of Education and the public that it may end the service. State law requires districts to give three years notice before discontinuing transportation.
"Discontinuing our transportation program is a cut nobody wants to make," said Superintendent Dr. Matt Prusiecki. "Unfortunately, due to our financial situation, this is a cut we need to consider in the next three years."
The district said in a release Tuesday it "faces a $2.5 million annual budget shortfall and will lose $7.5 million to property tax caps" this year. A referendum on the May ballot will ask voters to approve an additional local property tax starting 2015.
"Our losses to the property tax caps are getting larger every year," said Prusiecki. "We have to look for long-term solutions to the budget shortfall. Passing the referendum provides the district with a seven-year solution. If residents of Decatur Township choose to invest in the referendum, we will not need to pursue, or even consider, discontinuing transportation. But if the referendum fails, we have to give notice now to prepare to discontinue transportation in 2017."
The board would have to pass an additional referendum to approve terminating bus service, which could happen as early as 2017.