With a positive cash balance projected through 2021, Reynoldsburg City Schools' financial outlook means the district could avoid putting an operating levy on the ballot in the near future.

"Based on the assumptions in this forecast, the district is still a few years away from needing to consider a levy," Treasurer Tammy Miller said.

An open enrollment policy approved in 2012 continues to boost the district's bottom line and stretch the years between levy requests, Miller said.

Reynoldsburg admitted 187 students from other school districts during the 2012-13 school year, and because state dollars followed those students, the open-enrollment policy brought in close to $1 million in additional revenue in its first year.

This year, the district has 643 open enrollment students, which generates $3.9 million in additional revenue.

"That is equal to what a 6-mill operating levy would bring in," Miller said.

A new five-year financial forecast shows a balance of $29,523,924 at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Revenue is expected to come in at $75,829,166 this year, with total expenditures of $69,807,414.

Miller said actual revenue was $72,207,214 in June last year, with total expenditures of $65,261,257. After adding a carryover cash balance, the fund balance last June was $23,503,988, she said.

Miller said the district uses key strategies to maintain financial stability, such as eliminating lower-priority expenditures to offset the cost of new and more promising opportunities for students.

"Our students have a variety of educational opportunities available to them, made possible by careful prioritization of spending, strategic deployment of resources and creative partnerships with our community partners," she said.

Some of those partners, such as Columbus State Community College, which leases space on the Livingston Avenue high school campus, also offer College Credit Plus, making it possible for students to earn college credits.

The May forecast updates one from October 2016.

"Revenues in the May forecast are approximately $1 million higher than the October forecast, due to real estate and income taxes tracking higher than expected, and a conservative estimate of state funding in the fall," Miller said. "Overall, expenditures are relatively the same as the October forecast, with the exception of $3.9 million that was transferred to the technology capital outlay fund to provide monies for district technology needs through fiscal year 2022."

Miller said expenditures do not begin to exceed revenue until 2020 on the new forecast. Expenses that year are projected to be at $75,137,958, with revenue at $74,927,717.

The district would stay in the black, however, because of an expected carryover cash balance of $39,156,863.

pwillis@thisweeknews.com

@PamelaThisWeek