A message from Superintendent Charles Smialek, Ph.D.
November 25, 2019
Treasurer Sean Nuccio presented his five-year forecast to the Board of Education last Thursday evening. We are required by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to present two forecasts per year; this stipulation ensures that we are always up-to-date in tracking our revenues and expenditures.
Mr. Nuccio’s most recent forecast projects a positive cash balance through 2023, a factor which allows us to focus in the short-term on operating levy renewals (not a new tax, not a tax increase) and the construction bond issue that will result from this year’s Strategic Consolidation efforts. Our consultant to ODE, with whom we have worked since our financial issues in 2016, is so pleased with our fiscal progress that she explained she will recommend our removal from “Fiscal Caution” status. This recommendation must be confirmed, though, by her supervisors.
Many factors have combined to bring us to a more stable financial status than we experienced in the relatively recent past. First, Mr. Nuccio and his staff are relentless in their pursuit and implementation of accurate and responsible financial procedures. Their daily diligence helps us all to remain focused on our district goal of “Practicing fiscal responsibility.”
Next, our employee groups have worked collaboratively with our administration to forge compensation agreements which simultaneously represent the respect we hold for their work and the financial parameters within which we operate. Quite simply, our employees are generally underpaid and we all wish that we could eradicate this reality in one negotiating cycle; this prospect, though is simply impossible to achieve without a dramatic infusion of additional funding.
Finally, our entire organization is dedicated to the old cliche, “doing more with less.” We all wish we had additional resources from which to build stronger support networks for our students, or smaller class sizes, or newer textbooks. We also acknowledge, however, the importance of restoring our district’s financial picture to one of health and sustainability.
We will be on the ballot this spring (March 17) with a request to renew a 7.2 mill emergency operating levy. As noted above, passage of this issue will not raise additional revenue and will not increase taxes. Similar to last spring’s renewal, the request is simply to maintain the level of funding that we currently collect. We have made great progress in restoring our district to be one for which our community can be proud. This spring’s renewal will help us to continue this positive momentum!