Update on West Jeff Schools’ five-year financial forecast

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(Posted Nov. 15, 2022)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

Passage earlier this month of a 5.87-mill substitution levy for Jefferson Local Schools will keep the district on track—for the near future—in meeting a five-year financial forecast.
On Nov. 14, Treasurer Mark Ingles presented the school board with a semi-annual update of the forecast, which runs from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2027. The purpose of the forecast is long-range planning based on information available today.

“The substitution levy goes a long way to support district finances, to shore up finances and keep us in the black,” Ingles said.

The levy passed by more than 56 percent. It will be on the tax rolls for seven years.

Of the nearly $16.7 million in the district’s general fund, local sources account for 68 percent of revenue, with real estate taxes accounting for 37 percent. Ingles said Jefferson Local is expecting a bump in real estate tax revenue in 2025-2026 due to an increase in housing valuations and construction.

Expenditures are estimated to reach $15.9 million with 55 percent earmarked for personnel costs which continue to increase. Maintenance on aging buildings continues to rise, as well, as mechanical parts break down.

Ingles said the full breakdown of the five-year forecast will be available on the district’s website, west-jefferson.k12.oh.us.

In other presentations, Todd Hoadley, superintendent of Tolles Career & Technical Center, told board members that 50 junior and senior West Jefferson students are enrolled at the center for the 2022-23 school year. The center’s total enrollment is 810 students, up 140 from the previous year.

“Our goal is to have 1,000 students next year,” Hoadley said, adding that 53 percent of Tolles students with career technology certification pursue higher education after graduation.

“Enrollment is growing. Employers are coming to us to get students on a pathway to employment,” he said.

During regular action, board members:

• accepted a total of $1,671 in donations from individuals and organizations;

• passed a memorandum of understanding with the West Jefferson Education Association regarding the hourly rate for tutoring and school improvement, substitute teaching compensation for bargaining unit members, extra duty supplemental pay, and Ohio Teacher Evaluation System language; and

• approved a contract with REACH for special education services.

The next regular meeting of the Jefferson Local school board is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in the high school auditeria.

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