Westerville News & Public Opinion

School board scales back 2012-2013 budget


The Westerville City School District has reduced its 2012-2013 budget by $2.8 million.

The board of education voted unanimously at its Monday, Nov. 26, meeting to approve a reduced budget of $148.3 million. In July, the board approved a $151.2 million budget.

The decreased budget does not come from any cuts made to the district's staffing or programming, said district treasurer Bart Griffith, but is merely a housekeeping measure to align the budget's actual expenditures from the start of the fiscal year in July to the present. Updating the budget helps the district with its audits, Griffith said.

There was no particular area of the budget that led to a dramatic decrease in the actual expenditures versus the forecasted ones, Griffith said.

However, the budget was helped by the board's decision earlier this year to move to being self-insured beginning in January, he said.

That is projected to save the district about $1 million in calendar year 2013 if the district sees 120 percent of the insurance claims it saw last year, Griffith said. That savings could be as high as $3 million per calendar year if there are fewer or less expensive claims, Griffith said.

The revised budget also shows a decrease in debt services of $447,000. That is due to a refinancing of bonds by the district earlier this year.

The refinancing is projected to save the district just less than $1 million in all, Griffith said.

That money is not returned to the district's general fund, he said, but will show up as smaller tax bills for residents next year.

With the $148.3 million budget, the district will spend about $3.4 million less than it spent in the 2011-2012 school year.