LIGONIER — The West Noble school board had a broad discussion of the 2020 budget at its meeting Monday night. Board members were given a first draft of the budget to read, with further discussion to come at the Aug. 26 meeting.

Treasurer Barbara Fought answered the board’s questions about expenses and how funds are allocated.

The Education Fund is dollars allocated to classrooms and includes grants received along with technology, related salaries and benefits, equipment and software licenses, Fought said. Technology is a huge part of classroom learning, now, she added.

The Operations Fund includes items related to tax levies, transportation and infrastructure. Fought said Cromwell’s 45% hike in sewage rates will increase the operations budget significantly for 2020.

Fought said two debt service projects will roll off the budget in 2020, and a 2019 lease-rental project will be added. The budget will also include the replacement of four buses.

Superintendent Galen Mast commended the faculty and staff for a nearly flawless first day of school Aug. 9.

“It’s one of the best ones since I’ve been here,” he said.

Board member Joe Hutsell said all buses passed the Indiana State Police inspection before school started. He also praised the West Noble staff for the successful “Charge Back to School” event.

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