One of the most important tax-supported institutions in a community is its school district. That's why it is critical for districts to provide information detailing their financial standing to taxpayers on a regular basis.
Continuing a tradition of full disclosure, Worthington Schools residents will receive the latest popular annual financial report, or PAFR, in the mail this month. It summarizes where our resources come from, how they are used, major accomplishments of the past year and the projected future financial status of the district.
District leaders are focused constantly on seeking out savings and making sure we are operating as efficiently as possible. For example, the school district saved more than $13 million by self-funding employee medical and workers' compensation insurance and expanded long-term, fixed utility contracts to save costs.
Worthington Schools also received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for our excellence in financial reporting and clean audit report with no questioned costs. This is the highest award from the state auditor's office and only 5 percent of more than 5,800 public entities receive this award annually.
We are proud to share our financial record but we also recognize that we have some challenges. The district's enrollment is up more than 1,000 students since 2012 and we project another 800 in the near future. This has led to capacity constraints, both structurally and operationally.
To address these issues, the school board voted to place an $89 million bond request on the November ballot to fund building additions to address capacity, as well as maintain technology, busing and other buildings. The board also approved an incremental operating-levy request to fund the additional staff members and resources needed to maintain our operations and accommodate a larger enrollment. We hope the PAFR, as well as the information on our website, worthington.k12.oh.us, provides a thorough background for residents on our finances.
In addition, the school board will review the district's latest five-year financial forecast at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. We encourage residents to attend the meeting, ask questions and contact us anytime for additional information.
Jeff McCuen is the treasurer for Worthington Schools. He can be contacted via email at jmccuen@ wscloud.org.