HOWARD — A near-capacity crowd came to the East Knox school board meeting on Wednesday to hear presentations by representatives from the Ohio Department of Education. Neil Allen, a fiscal consultant, and Roger Hardin, assistant director of the Office of Finance Program Services, talked about school finances in general, and the East Knox fiscal situation in particular.
As Allen reviewed the comprehensive analysis he completed last fall, he said he was pleased to note that treasurer Jessi Busenburg and superintendent Matt Caputo are “keeping a close eye” on the district’s finances. He also said the figures he came up with were very close to those Busenburg submitted in her five-year financial forecast.
Allen said he looked at the district’s financial history from fiscal year 2007 through fiscal year 2010 and found, “The bottom line is, in each of those four years the district spent more than it took in. Expenditures exceeded revenues.”
Allen then talked about the fiscal projections for fiscal year 2011. Regarding revenues, he said stimulus funds will go away and the district is not earning much interest on its investments.
“As to the state foundation money,” Allen said, “we just do not know how much will be cut. I don’t have a crystal ball, so your guess is as good as mine.”
He predicted the district would see about $9.31 million in total operating revenues while incurring $10.5 million in expenses. That means $614,158 in deficit spending, with a projected balance of $842,082 in June.
Deficit spending in this situation means spending more than what is taken in; it does not mean the district is in the red at this time.