VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– The South Vermillion Community School Board officially voted to approve its multimillion budget for 2024 on Monday night. 

Assistant superintendent Micah Williams said the closure of Ernie Pyle Elementary School earlier this year had an impact on their plans, and they hope to raise salaries using money from a $11.5 million education fund that was passed as part of the proposal.

“A lot of that goes to teacher salaries,” he said. “In fact, 62% must go to salaries and benefits this year, that’s of July 1st. With the closing of Ernie Pyle and the consolidation of class sizes, we hope to be putting that money right back into our teachers for next year.”

The biggest reason for the school’s closure was declining attendance, and Williams said that they hope this can help bring more teachers– and families– back to the community.

“You want to be able to pay your teachers what they should be paid. So as far as that goes, the money coming back to us from the savings allows us to bump the teachers beginning scale up and attract more teachers, and retain your current teachers by giving them raises,” he said. 

It also includes around $2.4 million for potential facility upgrades, you can see those projects detailed here. Williams said those are not a certainty– and part of a long-term plan to bring their buildings up to speed. 

“I think at the end of the day just planning ahead, one year, two years, three years, these are our goals, we might need roofs replaced, we might need HVAC replaced, but if you have that buffer at the end of the year, then do some of the projects that help beautify your campus,” he said. 

The next meeting for the board will be October 12th.