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EVSC Exited 2022 in Good Financial Health

1-23 EVSC Underwood report-1.jpg
Tim Jagielo
EVSC Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Business Affairs Carl Underwood updates the EVSC Board on the state of the various funds that finance the district.

Assistant Superintendent shares stats at recent meeting — district that can pay its bills and save money for a 'rainy day'

In a school district of 22,000 students and 3,400 employees, sometimes "no news" is good news regarding its financial health.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation received their annual year-in-review financial report at the January 23 board of trustees meeting.

Reports are provided regularly by EVSC Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Business Affairs Carl Underwood — but on Monday night he summarized the state of the major financial funds at the end of 2022.

"Our education operations and rainy-day fund, we're just looking at expenses and revenues and cash balances that cover that time period.”

Overall the district is in good shape, he reported. Expenses are $148 million and revenues are $168 million.

He shared the state of the end-of-year major funds cash balances, which are more than $27 million.

“I highlighted this to the board,” he said. “Our cash balances grew in our major funds pretty substantially.”

He says this is due to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds — COVID relief funds for schools which were a boon in 2020 and 2021, but are going away in fall of 2024.

They also discussed tax captures and paying district debts, which are also on track. Property tax capture limits meant the district had to leave about $9 million on the table.

Underwood credits Executive Director of Business Affairs Courtney Bohleber and also said it has a lot to do with increased state funding after 2018.

“I think the biggest difference is the state is passing along more dollars to school districts. We're looking at potential increases,” he said. “I think the general assembly is talking about possibly a 6-percent increase this year.”

Chief Communication Officer Jason Woebkenburg said Indiana at one time ranked poorly in school staff funding.

“We went through about a 10 year period of time, where really, schools were not funded to keep pace with inflation,” he said. “Obviously costs go up.”

The district went from about $6,200 in per-pupil funding, to about $7,000.