The Olentangy Board of Education may be able to keep its promise to not ask for more funds from voters until 2019, according to its May 2017 five-year financial forecast.
The board had the first reading of the forecast after recognizing student accomplishments in academics and extracurricular programs at Olentangy High School Thursday evening.
Under the October forecast, Olentangy would have an unencumbered cash balance of $19,589,964 and could operate for 28 days without receiving additional revenues at the end of the fiscal year 2021. Under the May forecast, the district would have a of $33,330,234 and could operate for 48 days without receiving additional revenues at the end of the same fiscal year.
Changes since October include a $1.6-million, 0.8-percent, increase in the revenues for the fiscal year 2017. The increase is driven by increases of 6 to 8 percent in the public utility personal property tax and tax increment financing valuations over previous estimates. This offset less money than expected from the general property tax and unrestricted grants-in-aid.
Risks to revenue include state budgets over the next few years as the district seeks to receive the same amount of funding as charter schools at minimum from state lawmakers.
In addition, expenditure risks include the completion of the district’s fourth high school. Berlin High School is expected open for the fall in 2018. Other risks are changes in staffing assumptions, enrollment projections, insurance expenses, utility and fuel and union negotiations.
The district and the teachers union came to an agreement over a 1-year contract, and negotiations are underway with two unions representing custodians and bus drivers.
In other business, the board:
• Hired John Betz as an athletic director for Berlin High School. He will start his new job at Berlin High School Aug. 1. He joins Todd Spinner, who was hired as the school’s principal earlier this month.
• Accepted the resignation of Thomas McDonnell, Olentangy High School’s principal. McDonell, a finalist for the Berlin job, announced he would be working as administrator with Dublin schools.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.