Last month, the Worthington Schools Board of Education adopted the latest five-year financial forecast.
District spending has kept in line with revenues, but our forecast is not without challenges. State funding and enrollment growth continue to cause strain on both our capital and operating budgets.
As Worthington remains a popular community to live and raise a family, we are experiencing unprecedented enrollment growth in our schools. Current projections for the year 2026 anticipate 800 students more than the projections calculated just one year ago.
Our community is an integral part of the success of our schools. Through the passage of recent bond and operating levies and a focus on responsible financial management, we are able to plan and prepare for the future.
Nearly 78% of our district's revenue comes from local sources. Approval of the incremental operating levy last year provided much-needed revenue to keep up with our growing enrollment and will maintain current programs and services to students.
State funding once again is essentially frozen over the next two years, and Worthington Schools remains on a state funding cap. That means the district will receive $4.5 million less annually than the funding formula indicates.
We will continue to advocate to our legislators to fully fund education in future state budgets.
Our projected enrollment increase will cause pressure on capital projects, as well. Thankfully, we were able to reallocate reserve resources to allow for construction of additional classroom space in our middle-school projects, but budgetary pressures likely will continue.
We will continue to communicate our spending patterns and additional financial needs with transparency.
For a more in-depth analysis of district finances, we encourage residents to read our latest Popular Annual Financial Report, coming to mailboxes soon.
Thank you to residents for your continued support of our schools and students.
Jeff McCuen is treasurer of Worthington Schools. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.