WCHCS shares 5-year forecast at board meeting


At the most recent Washington Court House City School District Board of Education meeting, treasurer Becky Mullins gave a presentation on the financial status of the district and gave a five-year forecast. Mullins stated that the revenue for fiscal year 2023 is $25,445,242.

She explained this revenue.

“This is just the general fund. This does not count other funds like food service, athletics, retirement, or any grants, this is just our general fund. State sources are at 67% and local sources are now at 32%. In total, almost 96% of our budget comes from state foundation or taxes.”

Mullins spoke about the enrollment trends they are currently seeing.

“Some things that we look at for state funding include our enrollment trends. From 2012 to 2023, we’ve seen a pretty good decline of students. I would like to point out, though, that it’s not just Washington Court House, it’s not just Ohio school districts, schools all around the country are showing declines in enrollment or slower growth. Birth rates are just down so everybody’s seeing that cycle right now.”

She spoke about how the five-year forecast works and what goes into it.

“Some of the things that we look at when we do the forecast and we make our assumptions, the big one is the wages and benefits. We’re going to look at the new collective bargaining agreement that has the new wages. Insurance protection is another aspect. This isn’t just medical insurance; this is also liability insurance. Inflation rates are the big thing right now. Whether it’s food service, or anything else in the district, it costs more. We also look at textbook life cycles, curriculum life cycles, and equipment and technology replacement life cycle. We look at how often we’re changing our student Chromebooks, how often we’re changing our staff laptops and devices. Another factor in the forecast includes legislative changes. We’ve talked about retirement system changes, and we always need to keep an eye on those. Capital maintenance is another factor. We talked a lot about our 20-year capital plan. We know that we have money set aside for maintaining facilities and also enrollment figures. That comes down to not just the revenue side and how much revenue we’ll get for our enrollment, but also, if we’re looking at enrollment figures, are we maintaining proper staffing levels? What does that look like for supplied budgets, whether it’s inside or outside the classroom, and then what are our facility’s needs?”

Mullins then displayed a bar graph that showed the revenue, expenditures, and the ending fund balance. She explained what the graph showed and what the numbers meant.

“Just a quick recap, we do have a positive cash balance through fiscal year 27, although fiscal year 27 is starting to turn that tide into deficit spending again. We were fortunate to have some Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding for fiscal years 21 through 23, which has helped and was able to offset some of our other expenditures, so that could alleviate burden on our general fund. Costs are still rising, so we’re just going to continue to watch and monitor what’s going on with that. We’re looking forward to the fiscal year 24-25 state budget, that’s what we are really looking at right now.”

The next Washington Court House City School District board meeting will be held on Monday, June 12 at 7 p.m. in the district office.

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