The New Albany-Plain Local School District Board of Education and administration continue to deliver better educational outcomes for our students and fiscal responsibility for our taxpayers.
In the past three years, our district's standing on the Ohio Department of Education's state report card has increased from No. 64 to No. 17 in Ohio. Additionally, the increase in academic achievement has been accomplished while spending $9.5 million, or 5.3% less than budgeted, over the past three fiscal years.
By focusing our resources on students first, we have successfully extended the life of our last operating levy beyond a decade. In fact, we have a positive cash balance through fiscal 2024 and have reduced overall expenditures per pupil to $11,291, as compared to $12,243 in fiscal 2014, despite rising costs.
We've targeted our continuous improvement for this school year to be No. 16 or higher in state rankings for academic achievement, with another 1% compounding reduction in expenses.
Approximately two years ago, New Albany-Plain Local voters supported a five-year levy to partially fund capital improvements and repairs to maintain our campus facilities and equipment.
With some school buildings more than 20 years old, repairs and equipment replacement, including roofs, heating and cooling systems, technology infrastructure, school buses, playgrounds and security upgrades, must continue. The 1.25-mill, five-year levy generates approximately $1.17 million annually and is combined with $1.3 million annually from the general-revenue fund to allow the repairs and replacements to occur, when required.
Thanks to the support of our community, scheduled repairs and identified replacements continue to be competitively bid and procured to obtain the most responsible pricing possible. The accompanying graphic illustrates the scope of work completed or planned for fiscal accountability.
As we look toward summer 2020, capital improvements likely will include refurbishing 20-year-old commercial playground equipment and play areas, benefiting more than 3,000 students daily in grades 1 to 8, concrete repairs and asphalt seal-coating or milling.
Additionally, in an effort to further reduce the tax burden for our residents, the board and administration are working to expand advertising rights at Eagle Stadium to generate new sources of revenue that can pay for future turf, track, bleachers, lighting and/or scoreboard replacements, if possible.
The board, administration, faculty and staff are committed to creating a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student. Our school district remains thankful for the continued partnership of our entire learning community and its commitment to our students.
Michael Sawyers is superintendent of the New Albany-Plain Local School District.