Amidst the recent news of Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) state funding reductions, Grandview Heights Schools CFO Beth Collier presented the latest five-year financial forecast to the Board of Education at the May 13 Board Meeting.
“Overall, our forecast remains stable,” Collier said. “We have a positive cash balance at the end of five years, but it is important for us to plan and stretch our dollars as much as possible. We have always worked to practice responsible fiscal management.”
Last week, Governor Mike DeWine announced a $300 million reduction in state funding to K-12 schools for the last two months of this fiscal year, which ends in June. For Grandview Heights Schools, these reductions amount to $320,495, or 21.6% of its annual state funding, but the district will make up for some of that with $54,934 in federal funding through the CARES Act.
The district has set into motion a plan of action that will take place immediately, including:
- Cancelation of non-critical purchasing
- Layoff of Kids Club hourly employees, due to the cancellation of the Kids Club summer program, effective May 15
- Reduction of spring supplemental contracts by 50%
- Keeping staffing levels flat for 2020-2021
The board will also discuss a 5-10% building/department supply budget reduction for 2020-21 and will evaluate staffing for the 2021-22 school year to determine whether reductions may be needed.
“We always caution our community that funding is an ever-changing proposition,” said Superintendent Andy Culp. “This is why it is important to be good fiscal stewards of the funds made available to us. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, and we are no different.”
Collier also addressed questions the district is getting from the community about the construction of the new 4-8 building and renovation of Grandview Heights High School.
“The facility project budget has not been impacted by the state funding cuts,” said Collier. “That project is funded by the bond proceeds issued last year and will continue as planned.”
Culp added that residents can expect to hear more frequent updates about finances as the district expects more state funding reductions in the future.
“Communicating the financial health of our schools in a transparent manner with taxpayers has always been a priority,” he added. “We pledge to continue that conversation with you.”