School district ends year on positive note

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

A review of the 2018-2019 fiscal year was presented at the Dec. 9 South-Western City Schools Board of Education meeting. The figures presented indicated an increase in revenue, a moderate change in expenditures and a positive cash balance in the general fund.

According to Hugh Garside, the district’s treasurer, revenue was up 5.7 percent from the previous fiscal year.

“That is a $15.2 million increase in revenue,” he said.

That increase was largely contributed to an expanding tax base through the construction of new subdivisions and businesses.

“We are seeing a lot of good growth with all of these homes and businesses going up,” Garside said.

Another avenue of revenue increase was through state funding. Garside said the district received an additional $9 million last year. Other avenues of expansion, he said, are through interest earnings, which was reported as $2.4 million.

With all of the funding sources combined, the district’s total general fund revenue was $283 million.

There was a moderate change in expenditures, said Garside.

“We saw slightly less of an increase from the last fiscal year.”

He said the district continues to spend 73 cents out of every dollar on direct instructional activities. Direct instructional activities include salaries and benefits, supplies, teacher aide personnel, guidance, curriculum development and library/audio services.

The other 27 cents is spent on functional categories such as administration, plant maintenance, transportation and extracurricular.

Combined, the district’s total general fund expenditure for the fiscal year was $259.95 million.

Garside also spoke of the district’s other expenditure funds, which account for specific services and programming.

He said capital outlay is expected to increase when the district begins its middle school build project with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, while the enterprise funds (food service) is expected to maintain its status “in the black.”

“Our food service operation has been a shining star,” he said of the $10.4 million operation.

Altogether, Garside said the 2018-2019 fiscal year was a positive one for the district and he believed it will be maintained in the upcoming fiscal years.

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