CARDINGTON- Members of the Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education heard a full agenda during their recent meeting.

The district’s finances were reported by treasurer Brenda Miller who said the general fund balance was $3,654.98, a 2.66 percent increase over October 2021 when the general fund balance was $3,557,87. She said $133,934.27 was received as a reimbursement for FY 22 internet and connected services from the e-rate program in the month of October.

The board approved entering into a contract with Strategic Solutions for digital processing of accounts receivable, accounts payable, requisitions, workflow management, time sheets and HR on boarding.

The contract will commence on January 1, 2023.

A summary of Miller’s five year forecast was given as follows: “The Cardington-Lincoln Local School District’s five year forecast is used to engage the board of education and the community in long range planning and discussion of financial issues facing the school district. The five year forecast is divided into two sections, revenues and expenditures,” Miller stated.

“On the revenue side, our district is currently heavily state funded with 70.3 percent of all revenue coming from state sources. Our state funding status for FY 24 into FY 27 will depend on two new state budgets which are currently unknown. We are waiting on legislation to pass that would continue the current Fair School Funding Plan. Since the outcome of this legislation is unknown, funding is held constant in the forecast for FY 23 through Fy26. Morrow County will also go through a full reappraisal in 2023 to collect in 2024, which will increase our share of local funding as well. Currently, local taxes equate to 24.9 per cent of the district’s overall resources,” Miller stated.

“Expenses will see a 4.1 percent increase this year mostly due to a significant increase in health insurance costs, inflation, and salaries returning to the general fund from expiring grant funding. The district has a positive cash balance into FY 25. The district’s leadership team is always looking at ways to improve the education of students whether it be with changes in staffing, curriculum, or new technology needs. As the administration of the district reviews expenditures, the education of the students is always the main focus of resource utilization.”

Giving updates on activities were High School Principal Joe Mills; Middle School Principal Eric Pettit; Elementary Principal Scott Hardwick; Curriculum Director Jennifer Zierden; and Cardington-Lincoln Faculty Association, Jillian Kaufman.

The board approved the donations from Columbia Gas Energy donation of 90 Energy Bags to the middle school that contained workbooks and teacher’s materials worth $1,621.80; a donation of $100 from an anonymous donor to the middle school principals account to be used for a seventh grade field trip to Morrow Lanes; a donation of $200 from an anonymous donor to be used for middle school students to purchase books at the book fair and a donation of $576 to the Class of 2027 to cover costs associated with their Washington DC trip.

Superintendent Brian Petrie briefed the board and the public on the development of a School Travel Plan in coordination with the Ohio Department of Transportation. This fall, the district received funding to complete the travel plan in consultation with Cambridge Analytics. According to Petrie, the final plan is aimed at “creating a connected network of sidewalks and streets so that students, caregivers, and community members can safely, conveniently walk, bike, and roll to schools, recreation and community hubs.

The plan can also fund other safety considerations like crossing lights at crosswalks and improved signage for safety sensitive areas. The plan will be submitted to ODOT to help secure up to $500,000 for the infrastructure and $20,000 per year for non-infrastructure projects. Petrie was appreciative of board, staff and community input toward the project. The final draft of the grant is set to be submitted in March, 2023.

Board members set January 9, 2923 as its reorganizatonal meeting.

By Evelyn Long

For the Sentinel