By Rick Palsgrove
After years of struggling with cuts, the Groveport Madison School District’s finances are looking up.
“Overall the district is in very good shape financially for our students,” said interim treasurer Cindy Ritter.
Ritter presented the district’s five year financial forecast to the Groveport Madison Board of Education in May. She said the forecast projects the district’s unreserved fund balance to have “a positive accumulative balance through 2019.”
“The levy passage (in May 2014) is providing the financial basis for the district to invest in its teachers, students and infrastructure,” said Board President Nathan Slonaker. “It’s exciting to see the financial numbers in this forecast in the black because we had a lot of previous years when we were in the red.”
Highlights of the forecast include:
•60 percent of the district’s revenue comes from state funding, 36 percent from property taxes, and 4 percent from other local sources.
Ritter said, because state funding makes up a large portion of district revenues, “it is a significant area of risk to revenues…The risk comes in fiscal year 2016 and beyond if the state economy worsens or if the currently proposed state budget alters the funding formula to reduce funding to our district in a future state budget.”
•Employee wages and benefits make up 61 percent of the district’s expenses.
•Property values in the district fell 2.1 percent in 2014.
“This was a lower decline than had been anticipated,” said Ritter, who noted the district is projecting a 1 percent decline in property values in the next couple of years.
•Educational supplies and material costs are expected to rise by 3 percent through 2019.