The Bexley City School District's financial forecast continues to look up despite the slow economic recovery around the country.
The district's financial picture got a shot in the arm last week in a written report given to school board members during their regular monthly meeting Nov. 12.
Chris Essman, the district's treasurer, stated his October financial report reflects the receipt of the October 2012 income-tax settlement, which was $130,000 higher than projected.
"(The) good news continues," wrote Essman in a letter to school board members last week. "This reflects a strong, steady recovery."
In fact, Essman reported that every settlement received by the district since April 2012 is higher than the 2011 settlement for the same time period.
In addition, "All of the 2011 settlements were higher than the 2010 settlement(s)," said Essman, thus boosting the district's bottom line.
In 2010, Essman reported that income-tax settlements were a staggering 27 percent under projections. But this year, those estimates were only off by 3.23 percent, he said, reflecting a steep recovery by residents in Bexley.
"We're still in very, very good shape," he told board members last month. "We are trying to save money anywhere and everywhere we can."
In fact, Essman predicts the district will nearly double its savings by the year 2016 as compared to previous projections.
In other news, school board members will consider adding a position that would provide someone to head up a program addressing the social and emotional well-being of students. Several teachers and volunteers addressed the board, explaining that a program has evolved and existed for many years now, but efforts have been disjointed.
According to one volunteer, Natalie Cole, reducing non-academic barriers to education has proven to greatly increase learning. Such factors include forced mobility, environmental hazards, hunger and nutrition, neglect and health care, all of which can put students behind in their academics.
"We know the community supports this type of work," Cole said. "Non-academic barriers to success and social and emotional work ... there are statistics that show that school districts support (focus in these areas). Right now, we have fragmented work that's happening ... we need this position to come along and oversee this work so we are all moving in one direction."
Bexley Superintendent Michael Johnson agreed.
"This is highly valued (in our community)," he told board members last week.
In fact, he applauded all the work that is currently being done in this area, admitting though that there is more to be done.
"I believe there is a professional leader out there ... to take this even further. I think that is what we are advocating for."
Alissha Mitchell, who heads up the group Success For All in Bexley, also addressed the board this month, advocating for the position.
The idea was welcomed by school board members, who could entertain a motion on a possible position as early as next month, with the hopes of hiring someone by February or March of 2013.