School District Five-Year Forecast
Revenue, Expenditure Projections Show Need for Additional Funding
During the November 15 meeting of the Bexley Board of Education, Treasurer Kyle Smith provided a report on the school district’s five-year forecast. The five-year forecast, which is updated and submitted to the Ohio Department of Education each May and November, is the primary document used to assess the financial health of the district.
According to the latest forecasted projections and assumptions, the district will have a positive cash balance through Fiscal Year 2027. However, as predicted in the May 2023 forecast, the district is now spending into cash reserves/balance and district expenditures are forecasted to exceed revenues by more than $1.7 million by the fiscal-year end of June 30, 2024.
After the May 2023 forecast, Mr. Smith attributed the one-time federal dollars related to the COVID pandemic and unexplained sizable increases in past School District Income Tax payments as likely reasons the school district has avoided deficit spending this far past our 2019 levy.
The latest November 2023 forecast points out that COVID-related grant dollars are ending and the School District Income Tax payments have adjusted and are now back in line with previous years’ payments. Additionally, state funding to Bexley Schools has remained relatively flat since 2019.
In 2022, the Bexley Board of Education passed a cash-reserve policy stating that if the schools’ five-year forecast should have less than 70 days of operating cash within the first four years, then the Treasurer shall report such a finding. The forecast presently shows 81 days of operating cash in Fiscal Year 2026, but 14 days in Fiscal Year 2027, which is the fourth year of the forecast.
CLICK: General Revenue Fund Cash Balances – Best Practices
The Treasurer will convene the school district’s Finance Advisory Council to discuss next steps and options, as well as begin the process with Superintendent Dr. Jason Fine to fulfill the cash-reserve policy requirement of providing a financial evaluation to the Board within the next 120 days.
Mr. Smith said current projections show the potential need for additional revenue in the near future and he expects the Finance Advisory Council members to discuss the need for a future school levy, which could be on the ballot as early as next calendar year. The final decision to seek voter approval for a tax levy would be made by the Bexley Board of Education.
“This is part of the school-funding cycle in Bexley and others like us when we have to rely on ourselves for funding,” Mr. Smith said, and explained, “there are years when revenue surpasses our expenses, which has been the case in recent years. We are now at the point in time when our cash balance is used to fund our projected expenses. This is normal, but it can only last a short time.”
The complete five-year forecast
document is available on the district’s website.
Published November 30, 2023 | District Newsletter