Grove City Record

SWCS financial forecast remains on target

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The South-Western City School District remains "materially on target" for the revenue and expenditure projections included in the five-year forecast approved last October, Treasurer Hugh Garside told Board of Education members Monday night, May 6.

"We're a little over 1 percent actual on our revenues and a little less than 1 percent in our expenditures," Garside said.

The district is doing a little better than expected, he said.

Garside presented and the board approved an update of the financial forecast.

By law, a five-year forecast must be approved each October and a revised set of projections presented and approved in May.

The revised forecast includes a little more than $400,000 in tax revenue coming to the district from the Hollywood Casino, Garside said. It is the first revenue coming to the district from the casino.

The district will be receiving taxes from the casino each January and August, so only one payment is being received this fiscal year, he said.

The casino is not yet fully operating, Garside said, adding he expected the district will receive about $1.3 million from the casino next fiscal year.

The forecast also takes into account the continued implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.

In 2014, the act's "30 hour rule" will take effect, requiring the district to provide health care coverage for employees working at least 30 hours weekly, including substitutes and classroom aides, Garside said.

The federal sequestration will hit the district "pretty hard" by reducing South-Western's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding by about $350,000 in the next fiscal year, he said.

That amount will have to be covered by general fund dollars, Garside said.

What cannot be included yet in the forecast are figures relating to the new biennial state budget, which will begin on July 1, he said.

It is unclear at this time what funding changes will be included in the final budget bill, Garside said.

Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio House have each presented budget proposals and both versions provide additional funding for the district, he said. The state Senate now is deliberating the budget, to get a version that the House would approve and Kasich would sign by June 30.

Garside said he expects further adjustments through that process.

The five-year forecast indicates the district will not need to go back to the voters with a levy request "in the near future," board President Randy Reisling said

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