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9/28/2017 5:45:00 PM
Muncie mayor exploring $3.5M bailout of Muncie Community Schools
Mayor Dennis Tyler attends the IEERB hearing over budgetary issues, including teacher contracts, at Southside Middle School during a recent evening. (Photo: Jordan Kartholl / The Star Press)
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Mayor Dennis Tyler attends the IEERB hearing over budgetary issues, including teacher contracts, at Southside Middle School during a recent evening. (Photo: Jordan Kartholl / The Star Press)

Seth Slabaugh, Star Press

MUNCIE — Mayor Dennis Tyler is considering a plan to earmark at least $3.5 million of municipal funds to help Muncie Community Schools out of its financial crisis.

State-appointed emergency manager Steve Wittenauer told the school board this week that a plan is being put together on "what the mayor might be able to do for us. We have given him two projects to look at specifically."

The two projects at Central High School and South View Elementary School include heating, ventilating and air conditioning improvements as well as building controls. The cost of both projects is estimated at $3.7 million.

"He's looking at that," Wittenauer said of the mayor. "Another project he's interested in is East Washington Academy. That's another $2 million."

MCS issued bonds, which function like a loan, several years ago to raise more than $9 million for school improvements. But the money was misspent on operating costs by the deficit-ridden school district.

If the city were able to appropriate, say, $4 million for the projects, the school district would still be responsible for somehow raising the remaining $5 million or so to fund other improvements for which the bonds were issued, Wittenauer told The Star Press.

Related Links:
• Star Press full text

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• Muncie Community Schools takes corrective action after state financial audit
• COMMENTARY: Muncie Community Schools will continue to shrink

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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