Jonathan Alder Local Schools ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a $5.6 million surplus, treasurer Aaron Johnson told board of education members on Wednesday.
That was “better than expected,” Johnson said.
However, he cautioned that problems are looming down the road.
State funding for the district remains at a flat $7.8 million for the next two years under the budget signed by Gov. John Kasich last week.
In addition, reforms to the state’s tax on farm land, also a part of the approved state budget, will have a significant negative impact on Alder’s future revenues.
Once the new CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) formula is phased in, the district could see as much as a 30 percent reduction in property tax revenue, Johnson said.
That phase in will take six years — or two tax re-assessment cycles — in order to help local communities and schools transition to the new CAUV formula, according to published reports.
Alder’s budget for the upcoming school year is $20.5 million and should leave a surplus in June 2018, Johnson noted.
Board member Steve Votaw complemented Johnson on his projections. Votaw said Alder’s agreement with nearby Fairbanks Local Schools to share Johnson’s services has worked well for both districts. He said both are looking at additional ways to share services.
Also on Wednesday, Superintendent Gary Chapman said all five school buildings in the Alder district are “ready to go” for the upcoming year.
Routine maintenance projects are completed and the staff is now tackling smaller projects. They include upgrades to the water softening system at Monroe Elementary and a resealing of the Plain City Elementary parking lot. Workers will also replace the video surveillance system at the junior high, Chapman said.
Lightning struck the bus garage on Friday, disrupting or destroying the facility’s computers. Chapman said those computers will be up and running again by the time school starts.
In other routine meeting business on Wednesday, school board members:
• Accepted four federal grants for the upcoming school year. They are a Title 1 grant ($193,110); IDEA Part-B ($423,434); Title II ($47,260); ECSE ($12,630).
• Approved the 2017-18 student-parent handbook for Canaan Elementary.
• Approved a revised gifted student policy.
• Approved a contract with Miami Valley Child Development Centers for Head Start services in 2017-18.
• Approved a $40 fee for students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Students in ninth through 12tth grades will adhere to the high school fee schedule.
• Approved 2017-18 cafeteria prices for all students and adults. Those prices remain unchanged from last year.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.