CW students get new opportunity; plus district’s 5-year forecast

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Canal Winchester Schools are joining forces with Pickerington Schools in providing students with another science, technology, engineering and math option in furthering their education.

Pickerington conducts a biomedical innovations class at the Ohio Health Pickerington Medical Campus. During its May 20 meeting, the Canal Winchester Board of Education approved an agreement with Pickerington to provide an upper level class option for their students.

Six Canal Winchester students are projected to attend, starting with the 2019-20 school year, at the Ohio Health campus.

The class covers topics such as biomedical engineering, clinical medicine, public health and physiology. Pickerington’s biomedical science program was nationally certified in 2015.

According to Assistant Superintendent Kiya Hunt, Canal Winchester currently offers the first three levels of the course, but not the fourth level offered by Pickerington.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students,” said Hunt. “They can get internship opportunities. They’ll be able to shadow as well and ER opportunities are there at Ohio Health. It’s something we can’t recreate.”

Five-year financial forecast
Canal Winchester Schools Treasurer Nick Roberts presented his updated five-year forecast to the board. He told the board enrollment is up beyond initial projects and that 2019 was “kind of an odd year.”

“We had 154 kids come into the district, when the most we ever had was 90. We almost doubled for whatever reason,” said Roberts.“I hope it doesn’t become a new trend.”

Thanks to growth in state funding combined with strong growth in income tax collections, Roberts said the district was able to build operational cash balances.

“This enabled the district to transfer $7.5 million of its accumulated cash reserves in fiscal year 2017 to meet the district’s share of a state assisted construction project,” said Roberts. “Now that the one-time transfer is complete and the successful passage of the district’s renewal substitute levy in May 2019, cash balances are projected to increase through fiscal year 2023.”

Fueled by significant state funding increases, revenue growth has been strong the past five years, averaging almost 5 percent per year.

“State funding is anticipated to continue to grow through the end of the projection assuming a continuation of the current formula,” said Roberts.

Income tax growth is expected to remain strong through the forecasted period. In fiscal year 2018, state funding comprised just over 42.7 percent of the district’s overall funding. Given the projected growth estimates primarily in state funding and income tax collections, the district’s revenue is expected to increase on average 2.16 percent per year from 2019 through 2023.

Real estate property values are expected to maintain steady growth through the forecast period. As a result, overall dollars generated from collections are expected to exhibit modest growth over the forecasted period, which includes the renewal of a substitute levy in 2019.

“Income tax collections supply approximately 10.5 percent of the district’s overall operational revenue,” Roberts said. “Income tax growth has been strong over the last five-year period and has exceeded state and national trends following the 2008 great recession. The forecast assumes future income tax growth to remain strong at a 3 percent annual growth rate.”

According to the report, the updated forecast reflects improvement from a forecast filed this past spring.

“Revenue is up thanks to an improved outlook for tax revenue and interest earnings,” said Roberts. “Expenditures are also improved thanks to scaled back estimates for additional salaries and lower transfers to the district’s permanent improvement fund. Although both sides of the ledger have improved and in May 2019 the district passed its term-limited emergency renewal for another five years, long-term financial stability still depends heavily on the renewal of the district’s substitute levy in 2024.”

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