Perrysburg studies state impact on schools
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer
Monday, 22 July 2013 08:10
PERRYSBURG - Questions remain about how a new state plan to fund education will affect local schools, and administrators are cautiously awaiting further details.
Treasurer Matt Feasel said he attended a regional meeting Monday with Ohio Association of School Business Officials but left without the information he sought on how exactly Perrysburg's state funding would be calculated.
Superintendent Tom Hosler said Perrysburg is slated to receive a 6.25-percent increase in state contributions, as the district continues to grow. It's still unclear, however, whether that figure is calculated before or after other changes in the budget are applied, such as adjustments to funding for student transportation.
Board member Walter Edinger suggested the increase should be expressed in a dollars-per-student figure rather than a percentage, as the change is actually a small increase that doesn't come out to as much as the percentage may seem to be.
Feasel and other board members agreed.
"We need to stay on a per-pupil basis and keep a dollar figure with it rather than a percentage, because there's so many different numbers out there that we need to actually break that down to say, "Here's what we're receiving per student," Feasel said.
Board members discussed other questions related to the state budget, approved June 30 by Gov. John Kasich, including making vocational board representatives appointed rather than elected; funding changes to transportation and educational service centers; vouchers; and how school-day requirements are calculated.
Board President Gretchen Downs said the group should keep an eye on any possible changes to kindergarten funding. Hosler said the district presently offers part-time kindergarten with a full-day option that comes with a fee, though the state appears to be trending toward full-day service.
Members also discussed the possibility of adding air conditioning at the junior high school, though the building's age may make it cost-prohibitive. Downs said a letter from a parent questioned why that project hadn't moved forward.
"I do think that's something we need to think about," she said.
Hosler reported that the cost would likely exceed the sum of all money brought in over the life of the district's five-year, 1.9-mill permanent improvement levy approved in 2010.
He said Tuesday that the district has "chipped away" at air conditioning in several elementary buildings and a small portion of the high school, and that funding for air conditioning could possibly be rolled into any future bond issuance for a building project.
Board member Valerie Hovland said sun shades to be installed in the building should provide some relief.
Separately, Feasel reported a 4 percent increase in tax receipts for the previous fiscal year, which ended June 30. Expenditures were held in check, only rising 1.44 percent, with most increases being spent on curriculum, he said.
In other business, the board approved a one-year contract for Lindsay Czech, who will serve as director of college advising. Board member Valerie Hovland said Czech, a Perrysburg graduate, knows what admissions officials look for in high school applicants and has experience working for Lourdes University, Ohio University and other colleges. She will also focus on scholarships and financial aid, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
The board also:
• Entered executive session to discuss negotiations and personnel. No action was taken.
• Accepted a $634 donation from Rick Ruffner to the after-prom committee, which represents half of the proceeds from four car cruise-ins held this summer.
• Approved more personnel items, contracts, overnight trips and purchase of textbooks.