Hilliard City Schools likely will need to seek an operating levy in November 2020, according to Brian Wilson, the district's treasurer.

Wilson said during the school board work session Oct. 28 that the district would begin deficit spending in fiscal 2021 – July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021 – if a ballot issue is not sought in November 2020.

"Certainly, we will need to be on the ballot next year," Wilson told board members.

Doing so would prevent deficit spending while keeping the district's promise not to seek an operating levy until at least 2020, Wilson said, after voters approved a $50 million bond issue and 4.5-mill operating levy in 2016.

The amount of millage the district would ask in November is yet to be determined, Wilson said.

It also likely would not be proposed until at least June 2020, after completion of the district's revised five-year financial forecast for June 30, 2020, to June 30, 2024, he said. At that time, the district should have a clearer picture of the amount of funding it will receive from the Ohio Department of Education, he said.

Placement of a levy on the ballot requires approval of the school board.

"The only fix (for deficit spending) is more money or less spending, or a little of both. (But) we can't kick the can on this," board President Paul Lambert said.

Lambert said although district leaders hope the state is generous, "we can't expect a windfall" concerning state funding.

"Eventually, we have to ask voters to up the ante, (but) we have to do the best we can to make that ask as little as possible," he said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo