By: Lucinda Held-Faulhaber – THE VILLAGE REPORTER
While the updated Five Year Forecast looked a bit more encouraging than it did last spring, Edon Northwest Local Board of Education heard the District would still continue deficit spending when it met in regular session Tuesday, October 8, 2013 in the school’s Media Center. President Jill Jacoby called the early evening meeting to order with all members in attendance.
“Compared to last May, we’re looking at about three hundred twelve thousand dollars better at the end of Fiscal Year 2017 than our first forecast showed,” began District Treasurer Kerry Samples. “Things are looking better.”
While cost-saving measures, such as staffing adjustments, hiring teachers right out of college, shared treasurer and school psychologist service arrangements with Edgerton Schools and bringing back to the District certain special education services from Bryan have all contributed to this savings, District revenues remain status quo. “Unfortunately, the District will not be getting any additional dollars,” Samples pointed out. “The Five Year Forecast has been impacted positively on the expenditure side [of the budget]; however, we just can’t keep pace with State [funding] cuts.”
“We’ve talked about this several times,” he continued. “All you need to do is look at our Fiscal Year 2012 revenue of 5.4 million dollars. Last year’s totaled five million ~ that’s a loss of four hundred thousand dollars in one year.” With the District on the State “guarantee”, this trend will stay consistent over the next two years; funding will be the same amount as received in Fiscal Year 2013.
Although Governor John Kasich has stated he’d like to “wean districts off the guarantee”, projections indicate the District staying at ninety-eight percent funding through Fiscal Year 2018. “Based on the current funding formula which has nine of ten parts tied to Valuation per pupil, we’re not coming off the guarantee anytime in the next five years,” said Samples. “We just don’t have the enrollment.” Without big changes in Valuation – or registering forty or fifty more students ~ funding from the State will not change.
“Again, while the Five Year Forecast does look better, I still think we’re going to have to go on the ballot sometime in next couple of years – probably 2016 – [to get new revenue coming in],” Samples stated. “With the new State Budget Bill, property tax may not be the way to go; you’ll no longer get the 12.5 percent rollback previously picked up by the State. An income tax could be the way to go.”
“We’re still deficit spending ~ approximately three hundred thousand dollars per year until 2017 and 2018 when it jumps to four hundred – five hundred thousand dollars per year,” concluded Samples. “Everything we’ve put in place has helped push us back a couple years, but without any additional State aid, [deficit spending will remain the norm].”
With review of the updated Five Year Forecast and its supporting notes completed, the Board went on to approve the schedule as presented. District residents interested in learning more about the Forecast should contact Mr. Samples, Superintendent Ewers or visit the District’s Website at www.edon.k12.oh.us.
Highlights from October Reports to the Board included:
Grades 7-12 Principal Anthony Stevens
- Shared the newly-formed Parent Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. Looking to keep parents active in everything done at the school (volunteering, fundraising, etc.), it is also hoped monthly meetings will be responsive to parent and community needs while engaging in conversations on how to continually improve on those needs.
- Noted the District’s website (www.edon.k12.oh.us) has a fresh, new look and is updated daily with current information, pictures, etc.; students, parents and community members can also keep up on the latest school happenings via Twitter and Facebook.
- Stated Elementary and Junior/Senior High faculty (four from each building) had partnered to develop a SLO (Student Learning Objective) Committee; the group will address that half of the new teacher evaluation system (observations comprise the remaining fifty percent).
Grades KK-6 Principal Bonnie Troyer
- Extended a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their much-appreciated donations of student supplies this school year.
- Recognized September’s Bomber Courtesy Club members.
- Noted Grade 3 Reading Ohio Achievement Assessment Testing would take place October 9; teacher evaluations, under Ohio’s new system (OTES), are being completed.
Superintendent Ed Ewers
- Shared the District would be applying for a “Straight A Funding” grant; the deadline to file individually or part of a consortium is October 25 (grants will be awarded in December). Ohio’s new $250 million fund is a competitive program to provide schools the opportunity to implement new and creative learning options for their students.
- Noted initial E-Rate funding paperwork had been completed; program reimbursements to the District (for telephone, website, wireless, etc.) total approximately forty thousand dollars per year.
- Stated additional detailed information regarding the School Security Grant Program (out of House Bill 59) had been received; the District can apply for reimbursements (up to five thousand dollars) to help offset the costs of implementing its new security updates.
- Related Pay-For-It is now available; Power Announcements will notify parents regarding this new online payment option.
In other action, the Board:
- Entered into Executive Session at the onset of the meeting to discuss employment of public employees; no action was taken upon returning to Open Session thirty minutes later.
- Accepted Cash Donations from Target ($24.73/Elementary Fund and $24.72/High School Fund); Great Midwest Sports ($600/Sports Fund ~ schedules) and Prospect Acres Photography ~ Student Photo Rebate ($1,285.88/Elementary Fund and $619.12/High School Fund).
- Approved a Participation Agreement with Montpelier Exempted Village Schools for 2013-2014 special education services.
- Approved a Sub-Supplemental Transportation Contract (upon completion of requirements) with Christa Perry, Band Director, for 2013-2014.
- Approved amendments to 2013-2014 Regular Bus Routes for Kim Hickman (2.50 hrs. to 3.00 hrs.) and Cindy Slattery (2.75 hrs. to 3.00 hrs.)
- Approved 2013-2014 Supplemental Contracts with Josh Wilmont (JV Boys Basketball); Cody Chrisman (Volunteer Assistant Boys Basketball, 5th & 6th Grade Boys Mini Bombers); Brien Moore (8th Grade Boys Basketball); Mark Blue (7th Grade Boys Basketball); Madison Muehlfeld (Volunteer Assistant Girls Basketball, 5th & 6th Grade Girls Mini Bombers); Terry Whitney (8th Grade Girls Basketball); Lisa Heslop (7th Grade Girls Basketball); Emily Bockover (Volunteer Junior High Girls Basketball) and Annette Peckham (Volunteer Assistant Cheerleading).
- Changed next month’s regular meeting date from Tuesday, November 12 to Tuesday, November 19 to accommodate schedules of those attending the 2013 OSBA Capital Conference.
- Learned Treasurer Sample’s standard SM2 Report indicated revenues were down ninety-one thousand dollars and expenses up five thousand dollars for the same three-month period as last year. The District is tracking ninety-six thousand dollars worse than a year ago (as expected).
- Was reminded Race to the Top (RttT) is now in its fourth and final year; twenty-eight thousand dollars of the allocated one-hundred thousand dollar grant remains available for utilization. It was also noted the RttT Transformation Team would be holding its first meeting October 9.
- Heard the District’s FY2012 Transportation Report; despite the nine thousand-mile reduction over the past two years, rising fuel costs helped contribute to a twenty-two thousand dollar increase in expenditures over FY2011. With the average per-mile cost rising from $2.97 to $3.43, this is an area to look at for possible expenditure reductions.
- Approved minutes from the regular meeting held Tuesday, September 10.
- Approved September’s Financial Reports along with the Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources and Appropriation Increases/Decreases for FY 2014.
- Noted the Policy Committee would convene at the end of the meeting to review suggested changes, including the possibility of slight alterations to Social Studies graduation requirements for students attending Four County Career Center their junior and senior years (core and elective course offerings vary between the two learning institutions). As noted by Principal Stevens, students returning to the Edon building would follow standard graduation requisites.
The Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will next meet in regular session Tuesday, November 19, 2013 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s Media Center.
Lucinda Held-Faulhaber may be reached at email@example.com