CENTERBURG — Treasurer Ellen Scott told the Centerburg school board on Monday the district’s financial situation at this time is “stable” despite a $300,000 decrease in state foundation money and the elimination of monies previously received from the commercial activities tax.
She said the CAT, previously known as tangible personal property or inventory tax, is being phased out and schools are no longer being reimbursed by the state as promised. Bus reimbursement and funding for gifted programs have been reduced to zero.
“It is one of the many ways the State of Ohio balanced the state’s budget on the backs of the locals,” she said. She added that funds generated by the permanent improvement levy are very helpful in that they are used to purchase items, such as buses, which otherwise have to be paid for with general fund money.
Scott reported the district has trimmed more than $300,000 in staff costs, including salaries and benefits, to help offset the state and federal funding decreases, but will have to start dipping into the cash balance by fiscal year 2014 if revenues do not increase.
“The bottom line is,” she said, “revenue remains stagnant, and expenses continue to rise even though at a much slower rate. As a school district, the problem remains that unlike business where a price increase could be contemplated, we have no means to raise income other than going to the voters.”
During the public participation portion of the meeting, Robert Kirk, director of the Knox County Career Center, talked about the center’s programs, enrollment and general operation. KCCC superintendent Bernie Pachmayer was also in attendance.
Regarding personnel, the board increased Austin Allen’s middle school coaching contract to three-fourths contract due to the resignation of Will Ellis and approved Lisa Smith as a student worker in the athletic department as a scorekeeper. Nate Altizer and Diana Boehmer were employed as math help instructors for the after-school program and addtional 21st grant personnel approved included Bethany Miles, Nathan Johnson, Megan Holmberg and Nick Dillon. Beverly Ward, Sharon Ellis and Ethan Copley were added to the classified substitute list and Cathy Hess and Chris Clark were appointed as the board’s representatives for public records training.
In addition to approving routine fiscal actions, the board accepted a $5,000 donation from the Centerburg Athletic Booster Club to the Wellness Fund and contracted with Interim HealthCare for nursing services for a student as required by law. It also approved an agreement to allow the use of the exercise equipment in the administrative building with Centerburg Senior Services at no cost and approved the use of the exercise equipment at no cost to adults in the community providing signature of use agreement.
Other actions taken included the approval of an after-school math help program for the middle/high school to be paid by 21st Century grant funds, FCCLA overnight activities in October and a list of elementary volunteers. The board also declared the First Robotics Club, the Centerburg Youth Basketball League and the Centerburg Youth Wrestling Program as non-school sponsored groups and approved their use of gymnasium and other facilities free of charge. The board also gave preliminary approval to Clay Tocheff to pursue a Spanish trip to Costa Rica in June 2014.
Prior to adjournment, the board went into executive session to discuss personnel.
No further action was taken.
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