Members of the Portage Lakes Career Center Board of Education approved the five-year forecast mapped out by treasurer Christopher Wright during its Oct. 20 meeting.

Wright said the report has actual figures for 2014 through 2016 fiscal years, as well as 2017 through 2021 projections. While it is a balanced forecast, Wright said there are some concerns. The main concerns being flat revenue trends and that long-term expenditures aren't necessarily supportable by those revenues. About 88 percent of the revenue has been flat and projected to be flat. He cited that the school has maintained the same state aid since 1998, excluding open enrollment. He put that into perspective by stating that one dollar in 1998 had the same buying power as $1.47 today.

"You can look at that as a 47 percent erosion in buying power," he said.

Wright also said that housing value have been decreasing, but the overall taxable value has been about the same in the past 10 years. He said a tax on businesses was phased out because the state believed that housing values would continue to increase to make up the difference.

"Our last successful levy was in 1984, and higher values from house values didn't happen so we felt the loss of that," Wright said.  "It was $540,000. Which is eight to nine percent of the revenue. It is gone, not coming back and not being replaced."

Offsetting that amount is not easy, Wright said. The most important piece the district needs to manage is the personnel expenses and do so as tightly it can, especially when revenue is flat.

"It is about 80 percent of our expenditures," Wright said. "It is a balanced forecast but we will need to address some challenges." 

In other business:

- Principal Mike Kaschak reported that PLCC students collected $410.91 for the Heavenly Hats Foundation, which donates new headwear for cancer patients in hospitals around the United States. The student ambassadors and National Technical Honor Society students took on the task and collected $1 donations. The students could wear the hat of their choice to school that day. The dress code does not allow for hats to be worn in the buildings. The goal set was $400.

- The board entered executive session to consider the appointment, employment, or compensation of an employee or official of the school district and to prepare for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees.  Upon return from Executive Session, no action was taken.

- Career Center students of the month are:

Dennis Galbreath, Lake Center Christian Academy: Visual Design & Imaging

Brayden Guyer, Coventry: Facility Operations and Maintenance

Taylor Minard, Springfield: Culinary Arts

Emily Spilker, Green: Culinary Arts

- Placement Student of the Month

Bailey Chapman, Springfield: Facility Operations & Maintenance.