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Findlay Schools’ financial forecast improves

The financial forecast for Findlay City Schools has again improved, but the district is still projected to end the current fiscal year in deficit spending.
That deficit is $919,838 in Treasurer Mike Barnhart’s latest calculations, presented Monday to the school board, down from $1.5 million in the January forecast.
It’s “a much more favorable forecast,” he said, though “there’s still some work to be done.”
Despite the deficit spending — expenses exceeding revenues — the district is expected to have a carryover balance of about $9.3 million at the end of this fiscal year.
Barnhart attributed the improvement to better than expected property tax collections, shifting some spending to the permanent improvement fund, and an assumption that there will be 21 fewer employees in fiscal year 2019. Barnhart also cited a new electricity rate agreement expected to save $200,000.
Superintendent Ed Kurt said after the meeting he was not certain which positions would be eliminated, but that it will happen through attrition as much as possible. The forecast says there will be 10 fewer teaching positions and 11 fewer administrative and support staff positions.
Barnhart said state funding is “much of the reason why we’re in the situation we are. In the past, we’ve had substantial increases in state funding.”
State funding in the fiscal year totals $24.8 million, up $102,488 from fiscal year 2017. Funding is projected to increase by $57,620 in fiscal year 2019.
“As the population of Findlay City Schools is declining, we’re tightening our belt and doing what we think is necessary in order to make sure that we don’t hurt students,” board member Susan Russel said. “We want to make sure the students still receive the best education possible in the district, but yet we need to be efficient in how we offer that, and effective in how we offer that.”

Courier reporter Kathryne Rubright will have more on Tuesday.



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