By Andrea Cordle
The South-Western City Schools District will end the year on a positive financial note.
At the last board of education meeting for 2013, Treasurer Hugh Garside presented the comprehensive annual financial report.
“This report is a good benchmark,” said Garside. “It is a good indicator of the financial picture of the district.”
The financial report is finalized at the end of each year.
According to Garside, the total general fund revenue for fiscal year 2012/13 was approximately $209 million. He said about 45 percent of the revenue comes from state funding while real estate taxes make up 42 percent of the general fund.
The district spends its money on instruction, administration, maintenance, transportation and extracurricular activities.
Garside said 72 cents of each dollar goes to instruction.
“We think that’s where our dollars should be spent,” said Garside. “We want to show taxpayers, we are putting our money where it counts – that’s in the classroom.”
When compared with other school districts, South-Western City Schools is below average in per pupil expenditures.
There are 16 school districts in Franklin County. According to the Ohio Department of Education, in 2012 South-Western ranked 13 out of the 16 districts in the county in per pupil expenditures. Only Reynoldsburg, Canal Winchester and Hamilton Local spent less per pupil.
South-Western per pupil expenditure is $10,273, which is slightly less than the state average of $10,508. In comparison, Grandview Heights spends $15,318 per pupil and Columbus City Schools spends $14,614.
Board president Randy Reisling said the district is fortunate, especially considering one of its neighboring school districts, Columbus City, is facing $50 million in cuts.
“It is amazing that we are able to stay in such great financial shape,” said Reisling.
Analysts such as Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s use the comprehensive annual financial report to score the district’s financial progress through their rating system. The district’s credit rating, assigned by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, are AA- and Aa2, respectively.
For more information on the financial report, visit www.swcs.us and look under the financial information section.