(Posted May 24, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Todd Mustain, Madison-Plains Local Schools treasurer, as he delivered news of the school district’s positive financial health.
Mustain presented the district’s five-year financial forecast at the May 17 school board meeting. The predicted year-end (June 30) cash balances for the next five years are: $4,349,000 in 2022, $5,389,000 in 2023, $5,925,000 in 2024, $5,669,000 in 2025, and $4,987,000 in 2026.
“That’s a healthy financial position for the district right now. That is what you want to see over the course of five years,” Mustain said.
“That is great news,” said Mark Mason, board president. “I know we’ve worked hard to keep the expenditures down and have a quality product for our kids and pay our people a fair amount.”
In addition to a tight rein on expenditures, Mustain credits the district’s 1.25 percent income tax for helping, in large part, to stabilize the district’s finances. Voters narrowly renewed the tax in November 2021 for another 10 years.
“We would not be in the position we’re in without that income tax,” Mustain said. “That income tax has done exactly what it was designed to do. It has made the district financially healthy to the point we can consider other things that need to be done in this district as opposed to just trying to survive from one year to the next.”
In other news
• Facilities–The district’s facilities core committee met May 2 and will meet again May 31. The committee consists of about a dozen people charged with determining how to engage the community in conversation about the district’s aging buildings and form an overall facility plan. Later, the district will hold expanded meetings with 50 to 70 stakeholders, then engage the rest of the community.
“The idea is to give the parents, the guardians and the community members a voice into what happens with their schools, the schools that their children attend within the seven townships we serve – what kind of schools they want for their children,” said Superintendent Chad Eisler.
“As a board, we want as much community input and discussion as we can. This is the beginning of what we hope to be a much broader process,” Mason added.
• Student recognition–Emma Wethington, a Madison-Plains High School student, won an American Society of French Academic Palms summer scholarship to study in France in July. The program offered three scholarships this year, two for college students and one for a high school student. Wethington was the one high school student in the country to win.
• Meeting–The school board’s next regular meeting has been changed from June 21 to June 22 to accommodate the schedule of newly appointed board member, Stuart Yensel. Meetings take place at 7 p.m. in the district conference room in the elementary building.