The Edon-Northwest Teacher Association (ENTA) and Edon Northwest Local Board of Education have not yet reached an agreement on the teacher’s contract. Teachers have been working with an expired contract since June, 2014.
Over the last five years, the district has experienced financial stress due to a reduction in State funding and the inability to pass any new operating levies. The last time the district passed new money for general operations was November of 1978. The district has failed subsequent attempts for a traditional income tax, an earned income tax, as well as a levy combining property and an income tax; the last levy attempt was in August 2012.
Since fiscal year 2012, the district has been deficit spending. The current May 2014 five-year forecast shows a deficit of over $300,000 in fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015. The deficit is projected to increase to nearly $500,000 in fiscal year 2018 and could leave the district with a carryover balance of under $50,000 without an influx of new money.
The district has worked to trim their expenses by reducing staff the past three years through attrition and some reduction in force. Steps have been taken to reduce utility cost as well as general operational cost, but the savings can’t keep pace with the rising cost of doing business. All district employees have been working under a hard wage freeze since June 2011.
Funding for the district has been devastated by state and federal reductions. The district has lost over $300,000 in Federal stimulus funds, another $300,000 in State revenue from Tangible Personal Property reductions and over $150,000 in lost interest income. This is on top of the stagnate State funding formula that has the district on the “guarantee” due to declining enrollment and high land values in the predominately farming community. The district would need to enroll approximately fifty-five new students to have any additional revenue from the State Foundation.
The Edon Northwest Local School District employs forty-one highly qualified teachers and has traditionally demonstrated high academic success. The Board of Education is hopeful it will be able to reach an amicable resolution in this negotiation process.