Updated five-year forecast shows district ahead of projections

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published:

Hudson -- The school district is ahead of the projected five-year forecast curve, according to updated numbers released May 22.

The forecast showed the district was $862,000, or 1.46 percent, above projected revenue of $59.9 million forecast and has spent $2.2 million, or 3.84 percent, less than the $56.5 million forecast, in 2014, according to Hudson Schools Treasurer Kathryn Sines, who shared the updated report with the Board of Education during its May 22 meeting. The Board unanimously approved the updated forecast.

School forecasts must be filed no later than Oct. 31 and updated no later than May 31 and submitted to the Ohio Department of Education,

"This is what we want the forecast to do -- have revenue come in higher than projected and expenditures come in lower than projected," Sines said.

The five-year forecast covers only the general fund, and is not inclusive of all district funds, Sines said.

The May 23 report was an updated look at the district's finances for fiscal year 2014, Sines said, adding that the forecast filed last October indicated projected revenues and expenses, while the new one reflects the school year's actual amounts.

Revenue could climb a bit, due to additional funds which could come in before the end of the year, Sines said. Real estate is the largest source of revenue, at about 66 percent, she added.

Expenditures were lower due to retirements, lower insurance payments and higher forecasted numbers to cover unseen expenditures such as more teachers or staff, she said.

The largest expenditures are salaries and benefits which make up 81 percent of the district's expenditures, according to Sines.

"We need to continue to make sound financial decisions and be proactive," Sines said.

The remaining four fiscal years, 2015-18, follow the October forecast's prediction that the district will be in sound financial shape through 2018, Sines said.

Total revenue is forecast to remain at around $59 million a year through the period. About 66 percent of the district's revenue is from residential and business real estate taxes, Sines said. State funding makes up 19 percent, and 12 percent is made up from property tax allocations.

In October, Sines forecast showed tax rates will remain consistent throughout 2018 with expenditures steadily climbing until reaching just over $62 million in 2018, according to Sines.

"That's excellent for us and has allowed us to keep expenditures down," Sines said.

Due to a projected decrease in enrollment, Sines estimated at least two employees will be lost per year, to attrition.

The update also factored in the Board's mandate to keep at least a 30-day, or 8.3 percent, operating cash balance in the budget. Sines' assumptions showed at least a 30-day supply through the forecast period.

"We are going to continue to save were we can," Board member Gary Mushock said.

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

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