Mt. Gilead district faces shortfall in five-year forecast

The five year forecast presented by MG Treasurer Trevor Gummere at the October Board of Education meeting was in stark contrast from the five year forecast offered in May.

There is nearly a $1 million difference in total expenditures between the May and October reports for fiscal year 2016, as well as $3.3 million less in the forecasted fund balance for fiscal year 2019.

“The good news is – we have cash for a while,” Gummere began. “The bad news is, in my thirteen years, I’ve never seen the state do what they did from the time of March to April to June,” .

Citing changes in state legislation in HB64 and the elimination of Tangible Personal Property Tax (TPP) as well as increased healthcare costs, utility costs, fuel costs, and open enrollment, the district is looking at over a million dollars in deficit spending by 2020 unless the district significantly reduces its costs.

Other districts are facing the same decrease in state funding. Gummere shared that Youngstown is suing the state of Ohio over their significant loss of revenue due to HB64.

He noted that the district made cuts in fiscal year 2013 to be solvent.

“Cuts were made to balance the budget, however, even with those cuts, the district was deficit spending in Fiscal Years 13, 14 and 15 and projected deficit spending for fiscal years 2017 through 2020,” Gummere explained. “We will have to constantly watch costs and live within our revenue by making reductions like we did for FY 2013 if revenues do not increase for fiscal years 17 through 20.”

“We will work through that,” stated Board President Rhonda Graham.

The Ohio Association of School Business Officials feel the current income adjustments for schools enacted through HB 59 tend to favor high property wealth districts rather than address the needs of districts with lower incomes. They also maintain if there are to be reductions in TPP and PUTPP (Public Utility Tangible Personal Property Tax), replacement payments should be offset with increases in state aid through an improved school-funding formula.

In other business, the board employed: Dominique Adkins, Substitute Aide; Jacob Hayes, Substitute Teacher; Linda Jenkins, Substitute Aide; Samantha Johnson, Substitute Teacher; Laurie McLain, Substitute Aide; Tammie Quillman, Full Time Custodian; Cindy Shoaf, Tutor for kindergarten and RTI Coordinator.

Supplementals for the 2015-2016 school year: Melissa Cassidy, Elementary Building Public Relations Co-Coordinator; Tom Hack, 8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach; Christina Kottenstette, Elementary Building Public Relations Co-Coordinator; and Jeremy Shipman, 7th Grade Girls Basketball Coach.

The board accepted the resignations due to retirement of Carolyn Ebert, EMIS Coordinator effective December 31, 2015; and Frank Pierce, Full Time Custodian effective January 1, 2016.

The next Regular board meeting will be held Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Board of Education Office.