Treasurer says district is in good shape

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The presentation of the annual financial review for the South-Western City Schools District took place at the Dec. 10 board of education meeting.

According to Treasurer Hugh Garside, the fiscal year 2017/18 saw an increase in revenue, an increase in expenditures and the projected stability of the district’s financial outlook.

“I would say we’re in good shape financially,” he said.

There was a rise in revenue in fiscal year 2017/18 of 5.4 percent, which roughly translates to an additional $13.7 million in the general fund.

Garside said the general fund operation budget is supported by revenues from real estate taxes, state funding, property tax allocations, public utility personal property tax and other sources.

The largest source of revenue, he said, comes from the state of Ohio.

“The state accounts for 52.4 percent of our general fund revenue source.”

Garside said the allocation is determined on a per pupil basis, and reiterated that the district is considered a capped district per the state funding allocation formula. Upon presenting the five-year forecast in both May and October, Garside said the district would receive an additional $11 million in funding if they were removed from the capped district classification.

Garside said another reason for the increase of general fund revenue had to do with a return on investments.

“Our investments are gaining steam,” he said.

There was an increase of 5.1 percent, or roughly $11.9 million, in expenditures for fiscal year 2017/18.

He said the increase was primarily due to additional staffing and an increase in gas prices.

He added that of the expenditures, 66 cents out of every dollar is devoted to instructional activities, and 7 cents out of every dollar is spent for instructional support.

“We are spending 73 cents out of every dollar on instructional support, which means it is going directly into the classroom.”

He also said the capital projects fund is going to be seeing “a lot of activity” due to the recent passage of Issue 7, which allows for the construction of new middle schools, the renovation of an additional middle and elementary school, and upgrades and/or paving to several others.

Garside told that board that the district is stable financially and should continue to be so well into 2023.

“I can see no need for an operating levy currently.”

In other news, Kevin Scott, the classified personnel director, presented a draft of the school year for calendar years 2019/2020 and 2020/21. According to the draft, the 2019 school year will begin Aug. 21 with an end date of May 28. The following year’s start date will be Aug. 26 with an end date of June 4. The board will likely hold a vote for the calendar year approval at its Jan. 28 meeting.

The board of education will hold its tax budget hearing for fiscal year 2019/2020 Jan. 7 at 6:45 p.m. Immediately following, the board will hold its organizational meeting and then regular meeting starting at 7 p.m.

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