GREEN During the May meeting, the Green Board of Education dealt with a number of topics. These included student and staff recognition, a permanent improvement update, the five-year forecast and a lengthy discussion of the upcoming safety levy in August.
The meeting started out with recognition of the various Students of the Month. These included Phoebe Smith, Greenwood; Adam Beck, Green Primary; Wyatt Westover, Green Intermediate; Faith Schrock, Green Middle; and Camden Diver and Logan Rockich, Green High.
The board also recognized Seniors Nicole Staudt and Denton Cohen, who were National Merit sinalists. Less than 1 percent of high school students nationwide are so recognized for the National Merit Scholarship.
Under Bulldog Strong, the following staff members were recognized for their accomplishments. They were Diana Props, secretary at Greenwood; Donna Curl, payroll at Central Administration; and Cindy Sarver, Green Primary teacher.
The PTA recognized its Outstanding Educators from several of the buildings. These included Megan Miller, Green High; Mike Murphy, Green Middle; Miranda Esterle, Green Intermediate; and Kristi Harrelson, Green Primary.
Following approval of the agenda and past minutes, the board heard a presentation by Director of Operations Wendall Jackson, who explained that of his total budget, 63 percent is tied up with fixed costs and the remaining 27 percent may be used on various projects throughout the district. Some of the items dealt with this past year included turf replacement, safety bollards at the high school tennis courts, resurfacing and sidewalk repair, new electric signs in front of the buildings, security lighting, various building upgrades and new buses. He explained that improvements are based on longterm strategic planning, and may be done in increments, such as roof repairs which were done in sections to spread the cost out.
Following Jackson's report, Treasurer Eydie Snowberger gave the five-year forecast. She discussed the various sources of revenue, including real estate, state aide and other revenue sources. Real Estate, both residential and commercial, account for 51 percent of the budget, with three levies - a continuing one since 1976 for 24.99 mills; and a two emergency levies, one for 4.8 mills that will expire in 2021 and another that is for 4.1 mills, that will expire in 2019.
She also pointed out that the schools get a public utility tax of 2 percent, but will get nothing from the settlement the city of Green made with NEXUS for construction of a natural gas pipeline through the city. There will eventually be some money, but the pipelin is allowed to annually depreciate 15 percent a year, so that eventually that source will dry up. In addition, the state also will cut funding in the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Snowberger also pointed out some of the personal property tax losses, which included more than $1 million dollars four years ago. This also includes the final phase-out of the tangible personal property tax by 2020. There is still a 10 peercent state rollback and 2.5 percent homestead exemption.
State aid comes in at 32 percent, with the the state aid covering 37.5 percent of the cost of educating a student. Casino revenue is $51 per student, much reduced from the original promised revenue of $118 per student, according to the state estimate when the issue came up.
The schools did get some revenue through other payments. These included interest income of $45,000, Medicaid reimbursements of $231,830 over two years, ROTC Instructor pay reimbursement, and Pre-school tuition.
Expenses for the school were broken down into three areas: salaries and benefits, purchased services, and supplies and other areas. Salaries and benefits make up the bulk of the expenses with 61 percent going for salaries and 23 percent going for benefits. Green has three unions, one non-represented employee group, and its administrators.
Purchased services account for 12 percent of the budget. These include insurance, utility payments, legal fees, open enrollment, students attending Community Schools, students attending STEM or Autistic schools, and Professional Development. Supplies and other purchases account for the remaining 4 percent. These include classroom supplies, and related supplies, HB 264 debt payment, financial audit by the state Treasurer's Office, collection fee for property tax, professional memberships and Fleet Insurance. Overall revenue is up 1.1 percent while expenses are down 1.3 percent when everything is factored in.
The bottom line is that the school district will be in the black for the next four years, with fiscal year 2018 at $12,089,821; fiscal year 2019 at $11,979,062; fiscal year 2020 at $9,096,039; and fiscal year 2021 at $4,863,989. In fiscal year 2022, the school will go into the red by $868,777, if there are no no new levies. The upcoming safety levy scheduled for August will be a 1-mill, five-year levy and will raise $777,653 per year. It, however, will not be part of the general fund and will only be able to be used for three things: security improvements, employment of safety personnel and safety training. Funds will be used to hire four additional school resource officers, two full-time family support specialists, one early childhood school mental health consultant and equipment and enhancements for safety and security.
Discussion was then opened to the public to discuss the safety levy. Eight people came forward with seven praising the school board for its quick reaction and response to the large March 1 meeting that dealt with the issue of school security. Overall, these parents, teachers, and a student complimented the board on its willingness to deal with the concerns of the parents and move forward to implement additional security precautions. The loan person to speak against the levy was Blaze Codispoti, who believes the board was putting a levy on the ballot too quickly before investigating other sources of revenue. He also questioned some of the steps the board was taking regarding security, including the addition of extra School Resource officers (SRO's).
Board member Katie Stoynoff responded by raising the issue of how he knew the board had not looked at different alternatives. Mark Herdlick raised the question related to the August placement of the levy on the ballot by stating that if the board waited until later to place a levy on the ballot and there was a school shooting, the meeting room would be overflowing with parents demanding answers.
In other business, the board then approved the financial report as submitted by the superintendent and treasurer, approved the five-year forecast and accepted a donation from the Green Middle School PTSA for $5,000 for library renovations. The board also accepted the consent calendar without change.
In its final business of the night, the board approved bonds for new school buses and related equipment in the amount of $825,000; a new high school PA system for $44,715 from the Permanent Improvement Fund; the purchase of the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) instructional material for Title I student assessment, not to exceed $35,000.00 from the Permanent Improvement Fund. It closed the session with acceptance of a quote from RUSH Bus Centers-Akron, for two IC Bus Model CE(77) passenger school buses in the amount of $171,180 through the Ohio Schools Council from Permanent Improvement Funds.
The board then adjourned without going into Executive Session. The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building.