The financial forecast for Swanton Local Schools continues to be relatively positive, according to district treasurer Joyce Kinsman. She updated the Board of Education Wednesday after last giving a forecast in November.
The five-year financial forecast shows that there would be no deficit spending in the district, if current levies are renewed. If they aren’t, deficit spending would begin in fiscal year 2023.
The Board is seeking renewal this May of an emergency levy that generates $825,000 per year for the district.
The district is forecast to have revenue exceed expenditures by about $220,000 this fiscal year.
“[That line] of the forecast is more positive in February 2022 than in November 2021 due to rebound in the school district income tax collections with residents returning to work after the state mandated closure of many businesses in spring 2020 and the updated state funding amounts being released by the Ohio Department of Education,” said Kinsman.
Income tax collection in fiscal year 2021 had dropped to $1,828,312. In 2022, it will likely be over $2,000,000. Three of four income tax collections have already occurred.
The new state funding formula update is also included in the new forecast. It shows a change in the split between unrestricted and restricted state funding. “The district now has more restrictions on how state funding can be utilized at the district level,” Kinsman said.
The restricted portion of funding increased from $51,749 to $362,052.
Year-end fund balances will remain positive throughout the five-year forecast, assuming levies are renewed. If they are not, the district would have a negative fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2026.
Also, without the levy renewals, deficit spending would balloon from $257,901 in fiscal year 2023 to $2.9 million in fiscal year 2026.
Kinsman also highlighted changes in the funding of Ohio Schools.
“Some of the main changes include direct funding for community schools, STEM schools, scholarship programs, and open enrollment so the funding follows the students where they are educated, establishes a base cost methodology based on student teacher ratios, minimum staffing levels, and actual costs, implements a new state and local cost methodology using property and income for all districts, and revises categorical aid and restricts funds for specific programs.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010