Bexley could see $2.7 million loss

The economy is in bad shape, and public education is not immune to the fallout.

Like many school districts across Central Ohio, that’s the message Bexley School Board members are facing.

"I think you should be aware of what we’re looking at," Bexley Schools Treasurer Christopher A. Essman told board members at their Dec. 15 meeting.

Essman outlined the district’s potential loss of revenue in its general fund for the 2009 and 2010 school years, noting the district could see revenue fall in three key areas: declining interest rates, a decrease in state funding and a decline in income tax the school receives from the state.

Conservatively, the district could see a loss of $1.5 million, but if a worse case scenario occurs, Essman said that number could rise to $2.7 million.

Despite this, school board president Diane Peterson said the district is trying to stick on its current levy cycle, with a new levy planned for the ballot in 2010 still on course.

"Because we can’t predict, we need to be more proactive and not be reactive," Peterson said.

The board instructed Superintendent Michael L. Johnson to begin working with the district’s schools in determining what may be cut or frozen from their budgets.

If cuts are not made prior to the 2010 planned levy, the size of levy voters will see could increase, Essman said.

Other news
• Johnson briefed school board members on projected enrollment for the 2008-09 school year.

Enrollment in elementary is projected to remain stable, while enrollment at the middle school level is expected to decline by about 30 students.

Enrollment at the high school level is expected to remain stable as well, with a slight decline possible.

Overall, enrollment is expected to decline by about 52 students from this year to next school year.

• Bexley honored seniors Sam Brock, Ben Hoover, Adam Neubauer and Aleks Vayntraub as Keymakers for being 12th-grade co-champions in a mid-November Ohio K-12 Championship Chess Tournament held at Olentangy Liberty High School.

• Julie Horger, a Bexley High School English teacher and adviser to the school’s student newspaper, The Torch, was honored with a district Star Thrower Award.

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