Perrysburg eyes deficit in school finances PDF Print E-mail
Written by By PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 22 May 2010 07:55
PERRYSBURG -  Pro-jections going out to the 2013-2014 school year predict that the school district will continue to struggle financially, according to a presentation made by district treasurer Matt Feasel at Monday's school board meeting in Toth Elementary.
Budget projections for the end of the current fiscal year show that the district will run a deficit of a little over $151,000. This figure includes a more than $4.8 million surplus reported for the month of April, minus predicted budget deficits of about $2.18 million in May and $2.8 million in June. Feasel noted that, as the district is legally required to have a balanced budget, short-term year-end borrowing would be sought to cover the cost.
The school district recently cut almost 50 positions as a cost-saving measure, and the resulting deductions are expected to reduce expenses by $1.8 million, or 4.27 percent, in 2010-2011.
Projections discussed at the meeting show that the district could be in the black by $15,300 in 2010-2011, $621,696 in 2011-2012, $819,102 in 2012-2013, and $828,136 in 2013-2014.
However, speaking in a later interview, Feasel noted that these numbers are not as positive as they might look.
"Even if you look at the bottolline, even though we've tried to submit balanced budgets during that time, it will be very difficult to meet those goals." One district payroll, he said, amounts to $950,000, and there are at least two per month.
"You can see that isn't nearly what we need to have to operate effectively. Even though it's submitting a balanced budget for four of the five years, it's still nowhere close to where we need to be in terms of financially stable. There's no financial stability there whatsoever within the forecast." To meet those projections, he said, real estate and income tax revenues would have to be spot-on. If not, adjustments to will have to be made.
Additionally, where there had previously been cushions of extra money in the budget from projects and items that were over-budgeted that could then be used by staff to fund certain things, this money is almost entirely gone.
"We're going to let our staff know if you've done it (a project) in the past, don't automatically assume you can do it this year, because we know exactly what's in this budget and it's going to be a very tight budget year.
"Discussing the situation with my colleagues throughout the state, no one knows with any certainty where things are going to end up" at the end of the next biennium.
Looking ahead to 2011-2012, he said, there could be a budget hole of more than $2 million if state stimulus dollars dry up, the legislature approves a mandate of all-day kindergarten - a cost of approximately $500,000 to the district - and if the state's budget deficit increases.

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