District approves 5-year forecast


SUNBURY — The final Big Walnut Board of Education regular meeting of the 2022-2023 school year resulted in approving the district’s latest five-year forecast.

On May 18, Treasurer Darren Jenkins presented a PowerPoint on the five-year forecast, which was divided into revenue and expenditure estimates through 2027.

“Revenues are increasing with basically no increase in state funding,” said one of the slides, through income tax receipts. “Expenditures are increasing at a faster rate than revenues.” Salaries and benefits currently take up 80% of the expenses, and services take up 15% of the expenses. Both are expected to continue to increase over the next five years.

The General Fund ending cash balance peaks in 2024 before dipping to below 2022 levels in 2027.

“We’re getting back to pre-pandemic,” Jenkins noted. “Local revenue is increasing as the district is on the 20-mill floor and new construction valuation, income taxes are also increasing,” said the funding slide.

“(The biennial) House Bill 110 bases state funding on only those that are attending the districts,” said a slide. That means average daily membership (enrollment plus other student counts) is no longer being used as a basis for enrollment, instead simply by students in seats.

Jenkins said the district’s financial situation is better than it was in the fall, but not entirely rosy. It was noted that holding off on some new hires helped the district avoid a more dire forecast. However, the original staffing plan is still in place.

“We’re trying to control our spending,” Jenkins said, with the fewer hires saving the district more than a million dollars. “We have some needs that need to be addressed. We have a little bit of a cushion now and some breathing room with which to do it.”

Board questions dealt with cash reserves, New Community Authority payments, and Ohio’s triennial update for property reappraisal.

The board later unanimously approved the forecast, which is required biannually by state law.

Prior to giving the forecast, Jenkins said there were only two new public records requests in the past months — a low since he’s been in the district.

The meeting started off on an unusual note.

President Doug Crowl asked to amend the May 18 meeting agenda by removing two human resources items, to be considered by the board later at a special meeting before the end of May. Board member Steve Fujii asked why this was necessary, and Crowl said, “There’s some special items that the board needs to discuss that we haven’t discussed.”

Board Vice President Angela Graziosi seconded the amending. The vote for the amending was 3-1-1, with board member Alice Nicks joining Crowl and Graziosi. Student representative Sophia Erndt abstained, and new board member Todd Smith was absent. The amended agenda was then approved by a similar vote.

Erndt was honored for her service on the board, attending all of the regular meetings. She will be attending Southeastern University in Florida, majoring in social work, and will be on the cheerleading squad.

“I think it’s amazing that Big Walnut has this position, and I hope it continues in the future,” Erndt said to the board.

The following were also recognized:

• Kenley Neverman, Big Walnut Intermediate School Student of the Month

• Zareena Khan, Big Walnut Elementary School Student of the Month

• Baylor Bauman, BWIS Art Student of the Month

• Kidus Abraham, BWE Art Student of the Month

• Andrew Boldizar, Dive State Qualifier

• Jeff Stimmell, Ohio Agricultural Educator of the Year

“This is a time of excitement and celebration in schools everywhere, and Big Walnut is no different,” Superintendent Ryan McLane said of the upcoming commencement, which was held May 20. He said everyone had fun at Eagles’ Last Flight, a tradition started by BW High School Principal Andy Jados where the graduating seniors visited their former schools.

McLane also praised the middle school for its annual Service Day.

“A lot of great things are happening at Big Walnut from our students and our staff, and we appreciate that. … We’re proud of all of our kids … and wish them the best of luck,” McLane said.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].

No posts to display