The Reynoldsburg school district continues to boost its bottom line with open enrollment tuition and "good financial protocols," making another levy request unlikely until after 2021, treasurer Tammy Miller said.
The school board has approved a new five-year financial forecast that projects a balance of more than $36 million by the end of June, with revenues at about $82.1 million and expenditures at $75.9 million.
"Based on this forecast, the district will likely not be looking at a levy until sometime after fiscal year 2021," Miller said.
Board President Joe Begeny credited the district's financial health to frugal financial practices.
"A lot of the credit goes to Tammy (Miller) and (Superintendent) Melvin Brown, and making sure we are following good financial protocols," Begeny said. "Even though we had to spend money on an HVAC system and added more teachers, we are still looking good for the next five years."
He said the district has gone from passing a levy in 2010 to possibly not asking voters for a new levy until as late as 2022 or 2023.
Voters approved a 9.9-mill incremental levy in May 2010.
"If the state would decide to fully fund us as they should, we could go even longer," Begeny said.
Miller noted in the new forecast that any increase in state funding for the district is capped.
"Because the increase in base state funding is capped at 3 percent, the district will not receive $5 million in funding for fiscal year 2018 that it would receive based on the current funding formula, if the cap were not in place," she wrote.
Despite flat funding from the state, the district projects a steady increase in its bottom line. The forecast shows actual totals for revenues, expenditures and end balances from fiscal years 2015 through 2017, with projected numbers for those categories from 2018 through 2022.
In 2017, the actual balance was $30,134,150, with revenues at $76,109,204 and expenses at $69,364,409.
That compares to the ending balance in June 2015 of $16,577,118 -- and shows an increasingly stable financial outlook, Miller said.
Ending balances are projected at $41,001,234 in 2019 and $41,789,391 in 2020.
Miller said the five-year forecast looks healthy because of careful financial decisions.
"This is possible by careful prioritization of spending, strategic deployment of resources and creative collaborations with community partners," she said.
The district works with a number of colleges and universities to give students opportunities for free or reduced-rate college classes through College Credit Plus and other programs. It also partners with organizations such as Battelle, the PAST Foundation and BalletMet for workshops and other opportunities.
Accepting open-enrollment students in 2013 also paved the way to prosperity, Miller said.
"Currently, about 700 open-enrollment students attend Reynoldsburg schools, generating $4.2 million in revenue," Miller said. "This is equivalent to a 5.6-mill operating levy."
She said because revenues have outpaced expenditures by 10 percent or more over the last few years, the district has been able to shore up its cash reserves and set aside money for future bus and technology purchases.
The outlook is not all rosy, however, as anticipated expenditures begin to outpace revenues in fiscal year 2021 by $2.4 million.
Revenue is projected to be about $75.9 million that year, with expenses at $81.9 million.
A healthy budget balance of about $39.3 million mitigates the shortfall, however, helping the district stave off any urgent need for a levy request that year, Miller said.