DOWN THIS ROAD BEFORE … District Treasurer/CEO Christine Ziegler presented the five-year projection noting “We can expect to be under emergency watch from the Department of Education as a result of my new forecast.” (PHOTO BY AMY WENDT, STAFF)
By: Amy Wendt
The November 21, 2022 regular meeting of the Archbold Board of Education began with the board entering into executive session to discuss the employment, compensation, promotion or demotion of public employees with no action taken.
Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Christine Ziegler then presented her Five-Year Projection to the board highlighting a decrease in revenue due to multiple factors, including reduced funding under the Fair School Funding Act.
“We’ve been down this road before. We can expect to be under emergency watch from the Department of Education as a result of my new forecast.”
“Once this is board approved and submitted, I anticipate to hear from them probably soon after the holidays and we will have to start working on a plan that’s approved by the board and submitted to ODE (Ohio Department of Education),” stated Ziegler.
Board president Jeremy Hurst commented “Well I think the biggest takeaway is we now have a current five-year forecast to work from.”
“The discussions that we have had over the last number of years, but particularly the last six months, were all gearing towards this financial picture.”
“So, I think the biggest thing for us moving forward, is to get our next work session scheduled for December to determine what our path is going to be in moving forward with an emergency operating levy and make sure that we’re doing our due diligence.”
Board member Tyson Stuckey noted “we basically have the same revenue that we had seven years ago. The mix has changed.”
“My opinion watching this over the years, is the state continues to look for local school districts to fund more of their local school costs. ”
“To still have the same revenue we had back in 2016, and if you think about what’s changed since 2016, it’s amazing.”
Hurst added, “Essentially, you are either funding it with additional revenue streams, or you are doing everything you can to not increase your costs since 2016.”
“It goes to paint the picture that the word from everyone in Columbus is its pushing back on the districts to provide more of the funding themselves.”
“I think for anyone who’s paid attention the last three years, look what school hasn’t had this issue pop up.”
“I think the number of schools that haven’t are far, far less, than the number of schools that have.”
“As we’ve discussed in the past, it’s to that point where we are in the same situation as all of our neighboring schools have been through.”
“We’ve had a lot of luck I think along the way with different things that have changed or popped up,” Hurst concluded.
Ziegler added “If you were to look back in 2018, we were having this conversation, and then all of a sudden we received the Rover Pipeline money-the news that Rover Pipeline money was coming, so, we were able to defer this.”
It was also discussed that COVID changed the funding sources temporarily as well, which moved things further into the future in terms of what the numbers looked like.
Hurst pointed out that two years ago, the district was kicked into fiscal watch and they needed the emergency levy, which temporarily took care of it.
“What also helped us there was using the ESSER grants to offset some of those expendatrures as well as the Rover Pipeline,” added Ziegler.
According to the Ohio Department of Education website, “Congress set aside approximately $13.2 billion to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).”
“The Department awarded these grants to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) for the purpose of providing Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.”
Another board member also noted that “The majority of schools under the Fair School Funding plan are receiving less.“
Ziegler explained, “That’s basically as a result of everything being flatlined except for the fact that we are still loosing TPP at $138,000 a year.”
“That’s half a mill that we are loosing annually as a result of the tangible personal property tax change in 2006.”
Hurst added, “Those numbers received – if they are flatlining, is basically backing up what they’ve been saying, which is districts need to take on more…that’s the big message we have been trying to get out the last six months from here, is this isn’t due to poor financial management on our end.”
“It’s when the revenue stream stays relatively the same or flat over a period of years, where else is it going to come from?”
“I think that’s what’s been pushed back to the districts, and again it’s not new information for anyone in the area. It’s new to our district, for lack of a better term, it’s our turn.”
In educational reports, Curriculum Director Mrs. Bagrowski shared the status of 3rd and 5th-grade testing, The Ohio Resident Educator Program, and the Archbold ROCKS program.
Reports from Elementary Principal Andrea Thiel, Middle School Principal Matt Shields and High School Principal Royal Short were submitted to the board in writing since all were absent due to Parent/Teacher conferences.
Superintendent Jayson Selgo updated the board on the ongoing District Security Project that he hopes to have on the January agenda for approval.
Selgo also extended thanks to Mr. Brian Miller and Mr. Matt Shields for their work on the 2023 Veterans Day Program.
Mr. Selgo advised the board “One of the attendees shared the following statement with me ‘Archbold’s Veterans Day program was the best I’ve ever participated in.’”
Lastly, Selgo said that the Calendar Committee has completed a proposed 2023-2024 school year calendar that will also be on the January agenda for approval.
In regular business the Board approved the following items:
- October 17, 2022, Regular Meeting Minutes
- October 2022 Financial Reports
- Five-Year Forecast as presented
- Donations from Archbold Lions Club, Archbold Rotary, Jayson & Olivia Selgo, and Dave’s Running Shop
- Annual Food and Beverage Standards report
- Assignment of USDA Foods Member agreement with the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council
- Overnight trip for FFA to attend the State FFA Job Interview Contest, December 2-3, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio
- Bid from Cardinal Bus Sales of $122,219.00 to purchase a 78-passenger school bus. According to the Superintendent’s report, funds used to purchase this bus will be $45,000 in funds from the ODE School Bus Purchase Program with the remainder coming from ESSER funds.
The following personnel recommendations were also approved:
- Paraprofessional substitute list provided by the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center for the 2022-2023 school year as presented.
- One-year supplemental contract for Andrea Thiel as an IBS administrator for the 2022-23 school year.
- Krysti Bowerman to provide interim Spanish instruction at a rate of $75 per lesson for the 2022-2023 school year, effective October 31, 2022.
- One-year contract for student worker for the 2022-2023 school year.
- Substitute teacher list provided by the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center for the 2022-2023 school year as presented.
In items from the board, Jeremy Hurst was appointed President Pro-Tem for the board’s upcoming organizational meeting.
The board will meet December 19, 2022 for their regular meeting at 5:00 pm with a financial work session immediately following.
An organizational meeting is scheduled for January 9, 2023 at 4:30 pm with the regular meeting immediately following.
Amy can be reached at email@example.com