VALPARAISO | State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, has a plan that could address the Porter County Council's concerns over being charged this year with signing off on the budget for the Valparaiso Community School Corp.
Soliday said if he receives the written backing of the Valparaiso City Council, he will ask the Indiana State Board of Accounts next week to transfer responsibility this year for approving the school budget from the county to City Council.
He feels the job is more appropriate for the Valparaiso City Council, which appoints the majority of the School Board members.
Valparaiso City Council President Jan Dick, R-at large, said Thursday he believes the group would support Soliday's proposal.
"It just makes sense to me to pick the most local, hands-on governing body," he said. "You wouldn't want the state to review the county budget unless there are improprieties involved."
Soliday said the change in the state law that led to the local situation stems from the belief that only elected officials should be able to raise taxes. While there is a disagreement locally on the interpretation of the law, Soliday said he believes a good case can be made that the city and not the county should be overseeing the school budget.
If the State Board of Accounts denies the change, Soliday said he will look at amending the law. That approach would not result in a change before next year, he said.
The Valparaiso City Council appoints four members to the School Board. A fifth member is named by the Center Township Advisory Board.
The County Council passed a resolution earlier this summer supporting the idea of replacing the appointed board with an elected version.
The County Cuncil is also moving forward with hiring professional help to aid it in the process of reviewing the school district budget.