Cardington Board of Education discusses district finances

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

A wide ranging agenda was covered when the Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education met in regular session Feb. 13.

“I’m pleased with the progress this year- we are keeping a better cash balance than last year – we’re in that valley right now where we do real estate collections- I’m pleased with where we’re at financially,” District Treasurer Jon Mason, giving the monthly financial report, said.

“We’re in the middle of our five year collection here locally- about 3/4 earned income – it’s done better than expected,” he said. “When you go into this and do the levy, they predict what that 3/4 should generate and it’s improved every quarter. We’re on target for a little over $900,000 for the year – this past quarter was about $50,000 higher than the same quarter a year ago. As a whole, when we look at the first three quarters last year and this year, we’re up about $150,000 for the year- pleasing to the budget.”

He noted that 2018 is the calendar year where “we talk to the community about a renewal of the levy, a five year. We will finish the third year this calendar year – and the fourth year is when you think about renewing.”

Calling it the bad news, he reviewed the summary of what was given “to us – the governor’s proposed biennial budget, two year, for school districts.”

The county schools are dealing with couple of things- one is at the state level – if your enrollment is down, they will not continue to fund districts that have fewer kids.

“Our enrollment is down, about 100 kids, and they are starting to pull back from districts with declining enrollment,” he said. “The other part is the state share part – if a district becomes wealthier whether it be income tax or real estate values per student, the state share reduces – the state share becomes smaller, whether it be income tax or real estate value per student, the state share reduces. Our state share this year is 59 percent funded by the state and predicted next year to be 53-54 percent . That is probably affecting our funding for next year more than anything, it shows about a $200,000 decrease for the district. Right now, I can tell you the district cannot handle $238,000 decrease as projected.”

“The reason for the state share change is, I think, our non ag real estate values went up $3 million dollars and our tax abatement on CYT ended in 2016, so I believe the value of CYT is coming back on our roster which makes our values go up and our value per student goes up and the state share index goes down. It’s a double whammy- we lose the tax incentive dollars – those ended at the end of the calendar year- we’ll get half of that in the fiscal year. Since our values have gone up in real estate, we’ll receive more tax dollars but will they be enough to offset the decline in abatement. That’s where we are – our income tax is up but the state funding will be difficult to over come. We will do all we can to fight for the district. We still have to see the House version,” he concluded.

Supt Brian Petrie said there is a 4 percent decline in student enrollment in the state but the majority of them losing funds are in the rural area. He noted this is important to our county.

“I personally think those increasing in enrollments should get an increase but not at the expense of our school districts- we have tried hard to balance the budget with what we could control,” he said.

Mason was given the board’s approval as the board’s designee to attend the Public Records Training.

Joe Mills, high school principal, reviewed activities and said Derek Goodman had received the Franklin B. Walter award and will be going to a dinner on March 15 to learn the overall winner.

Mills reviewed the different testing times – state testing will take place over six days and there will be two hour delays. He complimented Kirsten Ebert and Angie Bush for their work on extracurricular events and Bush and the FCCLA for providing the lunch during parent-conference night. The high school play, “Singing in the Rain” will be presented March 2,3 and 4 and the junior high play “We, the People,” will be presented March 23-24.

The ACT ball game will be played March 3 when staff and students compete.

Mrs Zierden, intermediate principal, said the PBI system is in place. She recounted the service project completed by the students in which 158 students raised $1187.84 to beat cancer. She thanked First Federal Bank for counting the pennies. She said the teachers are working hard to identify those kids “on the bubble” with math data and formula assessments. She said testing will be done the week before spring break.

Scott Hardwick, elementary principal, reviewed the events at the school, which included the appearance of Jim “Basketball” Jones. He said 49 students are attending the tutoring sessions and the new system called Check in and Check Out is-proving to be so successful it’s used in the fifth and sixth grades.

Pam Beery gave an update on he elementary guidance grant she said she has been on the academic side of intervention – and attended a conference where Dr. Ken Baker, from the high school principal’s association, came for an hour session on how to deal with difficult people.

“He talked about things I had never encountered,” she said parent advisory meetings have begun. She also mentioned

Check in and Check Out, a teaching intervention that has begun The Cardington Community Health Fair will be held March 7 in the cafeteria and gym, she said.

Board member Vickie Kerman reviewed the information she has gathered on computer based testing for standardized testing and was to take it the next day to the meeting of the State Board of Education.

Deb Hart, cafeteria manager, said Smith Dairy had refunded the department a total of $400 – representing an amount that had been overcharged the cafeteria. Supt. Brian Petrie, reporting on the Tomorrow Center, said it now has 137 students. The center’s board had met earlier in the day. Petrie said they are in a position where they are ahead because of that enrollment. They made a transition from using Central Ohio ESC to Mid-Ohio ESC and the administrative fee went down. Because they are a smaller school, they will have a third party private audit done for them this year- next year a full state audit team will do it.

He said Rand Associates will be doing the audit for the financial statement this year and he will be representing the district. The board had passed several policies needing to be passed- regarding health and safety- restraint and seclusion, and students with allergies and students with the epipens.

Referencing bullying, Petrie said between July, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017, there were three reports of confirmed bullying incidents. He shared that only those that are investigated and turn into bullying are counted.

“We want students to report these incidents, either with their peers or themselves,” Petrie said. The school calendar for 2017-18 will be voted on at the March meeting. The calendar proposes to start school the week before the fair and to resume after the fair. There will be no changes in the length of the day. School will end in late May.

The board approved the unpaid leave of absence for Norah Bowers, aide, from Jan. 25 through May 25.

Also approved was the resignation of Jerry Williams, dean of students, effective end of the 2016-17 school year.

Accepted were the resignations of Philip Gaulin, aide, effective May 25 and Chester Sudia substitute custodian, effective Jan. 18.

Board Policy updates were approved with the exception of 5330-02, which was deleted.

The board established the scholarship amount for the Margaret Miller Memorial Scholarship for 2017 in the amount of $10,000 to be awarded in four annual installments of $2,500.

Supplemental contracts for 2017-2018 were awarded to Beau Wolford head football coach; Kendra Mosher, girls volleyball coach; Troy King, head golf coach and Erik Kyrk, head Cross Country Coach.

Tutors approved included Jane McClish, Diane Tucker, and Dionne Lawson.

The board accepted a donation from the Softball Team to the Cardington Community Food Pantry in the amount of $129.00. Petrie said a letter was received from Jean Smith, secretary of the food pantry in which she thanked Coach Brininger and the team for their ongoing assistance.

This monetary donation will purchase 1,290 pounds of food.

Also approved was a donation of books from Jeannine Tupps to the District Library valued at $1,300. A donation of $100 from Suzanne Duffy to the Cardington Elementary Cafeteria to reduce student lunch charges was also approved.

Supt Petrie introduced the following winners in the recent Spelling Bee: Devin Gheen, Madison Brehm, Maleigha Holtrey, Ryan Clinger, AJ Brehm, Ciara Giamarco, Kenedi Levering, Destiny Smith, Marlo Young and Alleyn Koontz, whose first place qualified him for the regional competition.

Attending this meeting was Wesley Goodman, Ohio House Representative from the 87th District. He is a Cardington resident.

The board will meet for a work session on March 6 for strategic planning and evaluation.

They entered into an executive session based on ORC 121.22(G) to consider employment of a pubic official.

No other business was transacted The board will meet in regular session at 6 p.m. on March 13.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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Reach us at [email protected]