Financial Forecast Remains Stable, District Closely Monitoring COVID-19 Impacts
By Beth Collier, CPA
Treasurer/CFO, Grandview Heights Schools
October 7, 2020
On October 7th, the Grandview Heights Schools Board of Education approved the latest five-year financial forecast. Thanks to the support of our community and our focus on responsible fiscal management, the school district has a positive unreserved fund balance for the life of the forecast. We are, however, continuing to monitor the ongoing financial impacts of COVID-19.
Eighty-four percent of our revenue comes from local property taxes and payments in lieu of taxes from Grandview Yard, meaning funding for our schools is generated primarily from local taxpayers. The 2019 renegotiation of the Grandview Yard school compensation agreement continues to provide a stable and increased source of revenue for our school district, and has enabled the Board of Education to significantly reduce the cost of the school facilities bond levy for property owners.
State funding is also a critical source of revenue for our schools and represents 13% of our school district budget. In May, Governor DeWine announced a $300 million reduction in Ohio K-12 education funding due to the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 on state revenues. That resulted in a loss of $288,000 from our operating budget. Our district will receive $94,000 in federal CARES Act funds to help offset the loss in state revenues. We have prioritized these funds for critical personal protective equipment such as face coverings, hand sanitizer dispensers, desk dividers, and enhanced cleaning supplies to keep our students and staff safe.
When it comes to expenses, Grandview Heights Schools is focusing additional local funds on the needs of our staff and students during the ongoing pandemic. Resources have been allocated to increase custodial staffing, providing for enhanced daily cleaning and safety protocols in each building. A full-time substitute teacher has also been hired in each building to allow for a consistent and seamless educational experience for students in the event of teacher absences. An additional technology specialist is being hired to meet the increased technological support needs of students, parents, and teachers. Resources have also been invested in providing an alternative educational opportunity, the Florida Virtual Learning Academy, for students and families that choose a fully virtual educational experience for the 2020-2021 school year. We are committed to ensuring that we continue to maximize and personalize every student’s learning, despite the challenges that COVID-19 presents.
Sharing our financial story is an important way to show how Grandview Heights Schools provides an excellent education at a good value to taxpayers. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.