The Gary Community School Corp. expects to have a balanced budget by 2021.
The estimated time frame was revealed earlier this month during the Distressed Unit Appeals Board meeting in Indianapolis. Gary school officials told the board its deficit was reduced to $6 million.
The forecast is an excerpt included in the district’s viable deficit reduction plan developed two years ago by MGT Consultants, a Florida-based firm which specializes in assisting financially distressed organizations. MGT was hired by the state in 2017 to oversee the turnaround of Gary public schools.
Eric Parish with MGT said the reduction in the district’s deficit shows its plan is working.
“It’s good news for the school corporation, the students and the community,” he said.
MGT is required by the state to deliver a financial report on the deficit every six months. The process began in December 2018 when the deficit was reduced from $22 million at initial takeover to $18 million.
By December 2019, Gary schools’ deficit had been reduced by half to $11 million. Gary school’s remaining deficit is $6 million.
Paige McNulty, who was recently appointed interim emergency manager of Gary public schools, said steps taken by staff who preceded her helped the district reduce its debt.
“I am excited to build on the milestones they’ve reached,” she said.
MGT also must address reducing long-term and short-term debt. In June 2017, those debts totaled $104 million. As of December 2019, that amount has been decreased by $20 million and is now $84 million.