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Impeccable Timing

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    Posted: May 07 2014 at 8:19am
MIDDLETOWN   

Forecast dire for school district   

Middletown treasurer predicts budget deficit by 2018.   

By Rick McCrabb Staff Writer   
      MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown City Schools District finds itself in a financial pinch.
   While the district continues to receive less money as property values continue to drop, the cost of providing retirement benefits to its staff is rising every year while the district loses more students, which could leave it operating in the red by 2018, said Kelley Thorpe, the treasurer.
   Thorpe said the district had a cash balance of $1.6 million in 2012, $1.5 million in 2013, and it’s forecast to be $389,000 by 2017 and in the red 3 5 million in 2018     
   She presented the district’s five-year forecast through 2018 during Tuesday night’s school board meeting, and members will vote on the forecast at their next meeting on May
   19. All school districts in Ohio are required to file a five-year forecast in May and October of each fiscal year. She said this month’s forecast is due to the Ohio Department of Education by May 31.          The property valuation for the school district was $975 million in 2008, and is expected to drop to $711 million this year, she said. Thorpe said general property tax revenue used to be the fastest growing assessed tax valuation. However, in recent years, she said, this source of revenue has been decreasing steadily due to changes in property valuation in the city.
   Thorpe said property values will be appraised     this year in Butler County, and she sees a recent trend continuing.
   She said total operating revenues, excluding other financing sources, for the 2013-14 fiscal year are projected to reach more than $68.8 million, representing an increase over 2012-13. She said the major sources of revenue for the district are local property taxes and unrestricted grants from the Ohio Department of Education. She said it was important to note that also included in the revenues for fiscal year 2014 is borrowing of $1.6 million for the Barnitz     Stadium project.
   The district spent $11.7 million on employees’ retirement in 2013, a number that is predicted to climb to $14.6 million by 2018 because of changes in the State Teacher’s Retirement System (STRS).
   This fiscal year, she said, more students left Middletown to attend charter/community schools than originally thought. This caused an increase in tuition payments of about $1 million, and those payments are predicted to increase from $23.8 million this year to $25.2 million by     2018. Superintendent Sam Ison has said that 1,500 students who live in the Middletown district attend schools other than Middletown City for various reasons, which costs the district $8.7 million to its general fund.
   She warned the board members that the financial forecast tends to be “less accurate” the farther out in time. Thorpe said changes in state funding, local property taxes and academic programming will initiate changes in the numbers.
Every morning is the dawn of a new error...
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2014 at 12:29pm
"MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown City Schools District finds itself in a financial pinch.
   While the district continues to receive less money as property values continue to drop, the cost of providing retirement benefits to its staff is rising every year while the district loses more students, which could leave it operating in the red by 2018, said Kelley Thorpe, the treasurer"

Property values dropping, cost of retirement benefits for public employees, the district losing more students.....who's the primary culprit in this situation?

Property values dropping- the pathetic school performance over time and ensuing reputation as a bottom feeder as the perception. The city leaders driving the city into a low income ghetto slum drawing no new interest in the town being a destination to live.

Cost of public salaries/bennies and legacy costs and the lack of attention to the budget to handle what the city and schools knew were coming.

Schools losing more students- (see property values dropping section above) .....and while we're at it, why do we need larger, newer schools if they have, indeed, acknowledged the drop in student numbers? The demand for education is trending downward here so why make preparations like new schools for the attraction factor? Potential residents simply aren't interested in the schools here, be they new or older buildings.

Nothing more than pre-prep greasing of the public for an upcoming new operating tax levy. Are you voters actually gonna bite on this when it comes? What happened to the "Starve the Beast" mentality on this bond levy?

"This fiscal year, she said, more students left Middletown to attend charter/community schools than originally thought. This caused an increase in tuition payments of about $1 million, and those payments are predicted to increase from $23.8 million this year to $25.2 million by     2018"

"Superintendent Sam Ison has said that 1,500 students who live in the Middletown district attend schools other than Middletown City for various reasons, which costs the district $8.7 million to its general fund"

Wonder why students are leaving Ison. Isn't 1500 about the equavalent of the high school population? How many elementaries would house 1500 students?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Mike_Presta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2014 at 4:25pm
Isn't it interesting that they waited to release this story until just as the polls were CLOSING???  It doesn't seem ethical that they deprived the voters of this information.
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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