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State-controlled school district projects a balanced budget in 2021

Officials say deficit has been reduced to $84M from $104M

Crusader Staff Report

The Gary Community School Corporation at its recent meeting with the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB), said the school district’s deficit has been reduced to $6 million and that school corporation is projecting a balanced budget in 2021.

The financial forecast is an excerpt from the Viable Deficit Reduction Plan developed two years prior by MGT, the firm selected by the State of Indiana in 2017 to oversee the turnaround of the Gary schools.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that our plan is working,” said MGT executive Eric Parish. “It’s good news for the school corporation, the students and the community.”

MGT is required by DUAB to deliver a financial report on the deficit every six months.

According to MGT, this process began in December 2018 when the deficit was reduced from $22 million at initial takeover to $18 million. By December 2019, the deficit had been reduced by half to $11 million. Today’s announcement of an additional $5 million reduction leaves the deficit at $6 million.

“This is wonderful news to report as I begin my new role with the district,” said Dr. Paige McNulty, who was recently appointed Interim Emergency Manager of the Gary Schools.

“My predecessors helped get us to this point, and I am excited to build on the milestones they’ve reached.”

In addition to the deficit reduction, the other financial requirement that MGT must continue to address is the reduction of long-term and short-term debt.

In June 2017, the district’s debt was $104 million. As of December 2019, that amount has been decreased by $20 million and is now $84 million.

“There is much more work to be done, and we have a team comprised of staff, faculty and administration who are committed to getting us where we need to be financially and academically,” said McNulty. “It is my honor to lead this charge.”

To view the full Viable Deficit Reduction Plan, visit www.garycsc.k12.in.us.

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