Monday, November 9, 2015

Levy renewal could help keep district in black

FIVE-YEAR FORECAST


According to the Westerville City School District's updated five-year forecast for fiscal years 2016-2020, as long as a renewal levy is passed in 2016, the district will be in the black.

District Treasurer Bart Griffith presented the forecast at a Westerville Board of Education meeting Monday, Oct. 26.

In fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2020, there is a decrease in revenue because the district is not allowed to project revenue from a levy renewal.

The forecast shows Westerville's emergency operating levy must be renewed before the end of calendar year 2017 or the district will lose about $16 million per year.

In the updated forecast, $3 million was transferred from the permanent improvement fund into the general fund for supplies, materials and technology.

The budget reserve fund still holds a 45-day amount of $19 million.

This year, the district received 7.5 percent of its funding from the state, but in future fiscal years, the district is expecting to receive just 3 percent.

"We're trying to be conservative with these numbers in our five-year forecast," Griffith said.

The school district treasurer's office is required to biannually present the updated five-year forecast to the board.

The new five-year forecast has $370,000 appropriated for the current fiscal year, to be used on the purchase of four new buses and additional bus routes.

There's also an additional $450,000 allocated for new staffing each fiscal year and 2 percent annual increases in salaries factored for fiscal 2019 and 2020.

Board President Tracy Davidson thanked Griffith for the presentation.

"I appreciate how you're being proactive, not reactive, and thank you for being conservative," she said.

The forecast did not reflect new pay-to-participate fees that were approved unanimously.

For high school, the first sport now costs $150; a second sport is $75; and the third is free. For middle schools, the first sport will be $75, the second sport $50 and the third sport free.

Also added was a family cap of $300 for high school and middle school co-curricular, extracurricular and club fees.

The following fees will be eliminated starting in the 2016-17 school year:

* Co-curricular fee of $50 for marching band in middle school.

* Extracurricular fee of $15 per club in middle school.

* Co-curricular fee of $50 for marching band, orchestra and choir in high school.

* Extracurricular one-time fee of $50 for high school theater

* Extracurricular fee of $15 per club in high school.

The board will review all student fees, fines and charges annually.

Other matters
The board recognized individuals as Fall A-plus Award-winners, including: Jim Cowman from Westerville South High School, Holly Hughes-Carroll from South, Vicki Jarrell from the district's Early Learning Center, Rodney Johnson from Genoa Middle School and Diane Tisdale from Genoa Middle School.