Grandview Heights Schools Notebook: District’s financial forecast remains stable during unprecedented times
When the class of 2021 graduates May 30, the 2020-21 school year officially will come to an end.
Grandview Heights Schools residents can be confident their school district successfully met the challenges of teaching and learning during these unprecedented times while maintaining a strong focus on fiscal management.
We are happy to report the district’s five-year financial forecast remains stable, with a $2.4 million unreserved cash balance through year five.
As we continue to closely monitor the financial impacts of COVID-19, we are strategically prioritizing our federal stimulus funds to where they are needed most. In addition to personal protective equipment, we have purchased new classroom furniture to allow for increased distancing between students.
Our top priority remains the safety of our students and staff. We also will use this funding to provide enhanced summer learning opportunities for our students.
After pandemic-related reductions in state funding the past two school years, a positive change for our bottom line occurred when Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed an executive order restoring a portion of those reductions for this school year.
Another boost to our financial position came with a 3.5% increase in tax revenue due to the 2021 triennial update.
Although property values increased 16% in Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff, Ohio law prohibits inflationary growth on most voted tax levies. The increase in revenue is from inside millage (5 mills for Grandview Heights Schools), the only portion of the tax bill permitted to increase or decrease with property valuation changes in most cases.
The Grandview Yard development also continues to provide a consistent revenue stream, ahead of projections, as development continues at a steady pace.
The financial forecast is not without challenges. After five years of average annual health-insurance premium increases of less than 0.5%, we will see an increase of 12.5% next year. Despite this larger-than-normal increase, our six-year average is still less than 3% per year. That said, we are working closely with our insurance committee and broker to evaluate options in an effort to minimize additional future increases.
Finally, we are excited to share that our forecast reflects the elimination of all-day kindergarten tuition in an effort to ensure equal access to this educational opportunity for all students. This fee was able to be eliminated while still maintaining a positive cash balance, due in part to responsible fiscal management.
As we look to the future, our focus remains on our mission to maximize and personalize every student’s learning while continuing to be good stewards of our financial resources.
Beth Collier is the treasurer and chief financial officer for Grandview Heights Schools.