COVENTRY TWP. The five-year-forecast for Coventry Schools is looking better than anticipated - with one caveat.
The district’s forecast in October anticipated the district finishing the fiscal year with about a $1 million balance. New projections show the district finishing at $1.3 million because property taxes came in higher than expected.
Coventry Treasurer Mathew Muccio, however, said it is critical that school district voters pass the renewal issue no Tuesday's ballot to help keep the district on track.
The district is projecting finishing in the black the next five years despite paying back $4.8 million to the state over the next two years and Muccio says there is no forecast for new taxes being requested on the horizon.
Superintendent Russell Chaboudy said it is incredible the district is paying back the $4.8 million to the state and still projecting a forecast in the black moving forward.
Board member Chris Davis agreed and said Muccio and Chaboudy are doing "a wonderful job."
Lorene Reed, however, a member of the district's Open Enrollment Committee which was tasked with examining the existing policy of allowing hundreds of students from outside the district attend Coventry Local, said a report prepared by the district which showed the open enrollment is making money has credibility problems.
The district's report, compiled by Muccio and Assistant Superintendent Lisa Blough, contradicted a report from Ohio Auditor Dave Yost's office, which estimated the Coventry's widespread open enrollment policy was a financial drain of about $1 million per year.
Reed said an email sent from Bob Foss, a fiscal consultant from the state financial planning committee, to Muccio making some suggestions about the district's report was ignored.
Muccio said in reply to the email from Foss, "Thank you for the suggestions, I will take a look and review. Also remember what your role is and who is creating this report, it is a district report."
Reed said Coventry Schools Taxpayers Accountability Coalition (CSTAC) vetted the report and found many errors and came up with different numbers compared to the district’s report.
"This school board should always require credible and truthful information from our treasurer and superintendent and this information should be made available to the community," Reed said. "To date, there is only one credible report, the state of Ohio performance auditor's report presented to the board and the community."
In other business April 19, the board:
- Heard a performance from the high school choir.
- Heard about a new memorial scholarship in honor of Justin Khamvongsouk, a 2016 Coventry graduate who drowned last summer in the Portage Lakes. The scholarship will be given to a male or female who best personifies Khamvongsouk. The student must have higher than a 3.5 grade-point-average, play one varsity sport and show financial need.
- Heard a presentation about First Tee, which is a golf program that also focuses on academics. The program funded 16 Coventry High School sophomores to take part in a several ACT preparation sessions.
- Heard an update on the Coventry Bog wetlands project behind Coventry Middle School. The board granted the Cleveland Museum of Natural History access to the site. Davis said the project is at no cost of the district. The 15-acre site is expected to be maintained by the museum and utilized by the school district.
- Announced there will be a free concert starting at 4 p.m. April 30 at Coventry Memorial Stadium.
The next Coventry Local Schools board meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 17 at Lakeview Administrative Offices.