On June 11, the Board of Education passed its Annual Appropriation Resolution for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018. This is the mechanism required by Ohio law (Chapter 5705 of the Ohio Revised Code) by which the School Board authorizes the Superintendent and Treasurer of the School District to spend the money received by the school district through local taxes, state and federal funding, fees collected and other source.
To support his resolution, the Treasurer prepares an annual budget and presents it to the School Board. You can view last year’s budget on the district website – next year’s budget will be posted soon.
As a member of our district’s Finance Committee, I prepared the following highlights from the budget and presented it to the other Board members (elements of which I read at the meeting):
By approval of this resolution, the Board would be authorizing the Administration to spend $280 million of our neighbors’ tax dollars – collected directly as local property taxes and indirectly through the portion of their state income taxes that comes back as state funding.
Of that, $200 million will be spent on day-to-day operations.
Of that, $171 million (86%) will be invested in the compensation and benefits of our team of teachers, staff and administrators, now numbering over 1,700. We’ll be adding 43 new members to the team next year, with 90% of those joining the instructional and pupil support staff. The average first year investment in a new teacher – just in compensation and benefits – is $66,000.
After a period of stable medical benefits costs, enabling two premium holidays in recent years, medical and especially pharmacy claims have been growing significantly, increasing the expenditure from the self-insurance fund from $22 million in FY15 to a projected $32 million in FY19, an increase of $10 million, or 45%. The Insurance Committee reviews this regularly, and makes adjustments to benefits and contributions as necessary.
We also send over $6 million of our funding to other institutions who provide educational services to students living in our school district, including: $2.2 million to community schools $1.5 million as autism scholarships $1.2 million to schools educating our students with disabilities $700,000 for Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarships $450,000 to STEM schools $280,000 to other school districts who accept Hilliard kids via open enrollment $275,000 to fund tuition paid through College Credit Plus
The Food Service program is projected to run at about break even, serving about 8,500 lunches each day. The program costs about $5.7 million/yr, and the cost is funded by $3.3 million of sales and $2.2 million of federal funding.
Our transportation department brings 7,800 students to school every day, putting 1.2 million miles on our buses in the year, while spending $700,000 on diesel fuel. We put another 200,000 miles on buses every year taking kids to non-public and community schools.
The School Age Child Care program operates at 16 of our buildings and cares for 1,100 kids. This program is self-funding.
Our extracurricular budget is $4 million, 95% of which is for the compensation of ADs, coaches, directors, student advisors and game officials.
We spend $3 million/yr for electricity, natural gas and water.
Our operations team cares for: 2.3 million square feet of indoor building space 300 acres of green space, playgrounds and athletic fields 86 acres of blacktop 15 miles of sidewalks
We currently have about $150 million in outstanding bond debt vs our statutory limit of $250 million. We will be retiring $15 million of principle each of the next three years while paying interest of about $5 million each year. Our bonds are rated AA+/Aa1, which is the second highest rating possible, creating a high demand for our bonds, which lowers our financing costs.
We have $6.8 million left in the Building Fund – money from the last bond levy – but will draw that down to $1 million by the time all the planned projects are completed. This is exactly what we told the voters we would do when the levy was placed on the ballot.
Our current Permanent Improvement Levy funding is $5 million/year. This needs to be reviewed versus our projected periodic capital repair/replacement costs, and will be done as part of a Facilities study that is an element of the Vision Plan update project underway right now.