Reynoldsburg News

Reynoldsburg schools' financial forecast better than expected


The Reynoldsburg Board of Education recently approved a revised five-year financial forecast that shows a positive general fund balance through 2018.

Board members also approved a total of $60,224.80 in performance awards for a number of administrators, school psychologists and administrative support staff members.

Treasurer Tami Miller said the positive balances on the revised forecast exceed a promise made to school district voters.

"When voters approved the 2010 operating levy, the district promised to maintain a positive fund balance through 2014," she said. "On this revised forecast, we show a positive fund balance through 2018."

The 6.9-mill incremental operating levy approved in 2010 increases by 1 mill each year until it reaches 9.9 mills in January 2014.

Miller said losses in revenue after the passage of the levy included $1.6 million in state revenue; $1 million in tangible personal property reimbursements and $1 million in real estate tax revenue due to reappraisals.

She said a number of factors contributed to the healthy financial forecast, including allowing the number of open enrollment students to increase. She said the district received $1 million this year for the first 176 students and she estimates revenue of $2.3 million through 2018 for the 400 open-enrollment students expected for the 2013-14 school year.

Miller said the current three-year negotiated agreement with certified staff members costs $8 million less than if the previous contract terms had remained in effect. The contract, which expires July 31, 2014, froze base salaries for the duration of the contract and froze step increases for two years.

She said a 0-percent increase in health insurance premiums this year and modifications made to employee health plans -- which included raising deductibles and increasing employee contributions to premiums -- also resulted in cost reductions.

The revised forecast shows total revenue for fiscal year 2013 (which ended in June) at $60,036,004, with total expenditures at $57,475,485.

The ending fund balance was $9,905,330, which included a carryover cash balance from the previous year.

The fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2014 is projected to be $12,833,247 and the projected fund balance for 2015 is projected at $15,962,385.

At the end of fiscal year 2018, the fund balance on the forecast is projected to be $13,329,940.

School board members approved the administrative performance raises without any public discussion during the Oct. 16 school board meeting.

Tricia Moore, director of shared services and partnerships, said the performance awards included $20,837.05 in base merit raises and $39,387.75 in one-time bonuses, given to principals, assistant principals, school psychologists and administrative support staff.

"They were largely due to the academic performance of each building on the state report card," she said. "The administrators could earn anywhere from 0 to 4 percent on their base salaries in merit raises or bonuses and the support staff from 0 to 3 percent."

She said the amount given was equivalent to an across-the-board raise of 2.3 percent.

Moore said decisions on whether to add the awards to individuals' base salaries or pay them as a one-time bonus were based on whether their current salaries are above or below market value for similar positions.