District Leadership Watching State Budget Process Closely
The Hilliard City Schools Board of Education approved a prudent yet steady five-year financial forecast during their regular meeting. Board of Education President Andy Teater emphasized the support from the community and their decision to invest in schools. “The board is thankful for the support of our community and we are determined to continue to wisely manage our resources in order to make the November 2011 operating dollars last three fiscal years. This forecast demonstrates the sound yet lean approach Hilliard City Schools uses with its resources and the board’s ongoing commitment to our community.”
Forecasts are financial planning tools the board reviews twice each year that outline conservative fiscal projections for the next five years. This forecast demonstrates some of the district’s recent cost reductions in action through a decrease in expenditures and a slightly higher ending cash balance as compared to the October 2012 projections.
“Hilliard City Schools is committed to implementing cost effective operations while still providing a high quality education,” said Treasurer Brian Wilson. “We have trimmed and cut where possible. This forecast is a reflection of the stingy approach our schools have taken with available resources.”
Since 2009 Hilliard City Schools has eliminated more than $19.6 million from its budget. This includes employee pay freezes, higher health insurance contributions and a reduction in staffing positions. In addition, the district is leading the way with cost reduction initiatives such as energy savings projects, reducing printing costs and innovative uses of technology. “These efforts from all staff members are designed to reduce our operational costs so we can direct more money into the classroom,” noted Wilson.
The forecast also underlines the significant impact the state budget has on the district’s bottom line. “What happens downtown greatly affects our community,” explained Wilson. “We have been and will continue to watch these budget proceedings closely to make sure our residents’ voices are heard when it comes to school funding cuts.” Hilliard City Schools receives virtually the same amount of state financial aid as it did in 2006; however enrollment has increased by approximately 1,000 students. In fact, the district’s state school foundation aid per pupil in Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 was $2,592 and that number has dropped to $2,208 for FY 2013. The 2009 and 2011 biennium budgets both included deep cuts to Hilliard City Schools funding.