The Olentangy school board approved the district’s five-year financial forecast — which shows the district staying in the black — and the general budget for fiscal 2017 at a recent meeting.
In the forecast, revenues are expected to exceed expenses in 2016-18, before hitting a downturn in 2019 and 2020. However, the existing cash balance will keep the district in the black.
“Olentangy has been and continues to be underfunded by the state,” the forecast overview states. “Olentangy’s state basic aid per pupil is projected at just about $540 per pupil, while the state average is closer to $4,400 per pupil.”
The total general fund for 2017 is $197,308,883. Revenues are estimated to be $199,636,320. The excess in revenue over expenditures is nearly equal to the encumbrances. The result is an unreserved fund balance of $59,991,520 on June 30, 2017.
Treasurer Brian Kern said at last Thursday’s meeting that the recent levy passage will help the district through the next five years. He is also hopeful that the district’s bond rating will be raised after he, Superintendent Mark Raiff and board member Kevin O’Brien visited Wall Street. An announcement is expected next week.
Also approved were building use costs. The costs were broken down for four groups, from the lowest to highest rates — curricular or co-curricular functions that are related to the curriculum or directly sponsored by the district; community or school-supported activities that are student-related and benefit the district; non-profit adult community or civic groups; and for-profit businesses or programs and private or parochial schools.
In his comments to the board, Raiff said the district has 1,230 new alumni, a record graduating class. However, there will be more than 1,285 incoming kindergarten students.
“Sunday (May 15) was a great day,” board president Dave King said of the class of 2016.
Raiff said a number of schools received the State Board of Education’s “Momentum Award” and all three high schools got “All A Awards.” The Ohio Department of Education’s website said the “All A Awards” are presented to schools that earned straight As on their state report cards; while the “Momentum Award” goes to schools that exceeded expectations in student growth for the year.
The district received a “Momentum Award,” as did Hyatts, Orange and Shanahan middle schools; and Cheshire, Glen Oak, Johnnycake Corners, Liberty Tree, Tyler Run and Walnut Creek elementary schools.
Rep. Andrew Brenner was supposed to speak at the board meeting, but canceled due to a scheduling conflict. He is slated to attend the June 9 board meeting. That is also the groundbreaking date for the district’s fourth high school.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.