Superintendent Mark Bagley provides an update to the Van Wert Board of Education on Wednesday. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
During Wednesday's Van Wert Board of Education meeting, Treasurer Michelle Mawer discussed the updated five-year forecast. While only a projection, the district is expected to fall into a deficit in fiscal year 2024 and fiscal year 2025. Mawer said it will be imperative for the district to look at how to avoid that shortfall.
In summary, Mawer said that revenues are projected to decline from the state as well as income tax collections, while expenditures are expected to climb.
"Our biggest concern is, on the revenue side, there is not a lot of potential for growth; if anything, the potential is going to decline in the state funding and income tax," said Mawer. "So the biggest challenge is that we really have to monitor our expenses and figure out how to reduce the deficit spending. We really need to get that down to zero where we are only spending what is coming in."
While the State is currently discussing a Fair School Funding Act that may help the district out, that has not been approved as of yet.
During his report, Superintendent Mark Bagley explained that the district is looking at ways to reduce expenditures.
"The first thing we're going to do is roll out [a] finance committee," said Bagley who explained the committee would look at the situation and provide information on where the school is at.
Bagley also noted that he and Mawer plan to break the entire budget down to see where savings can be found.
Also during his report, Bagley said that while there have been COVID cases in the school in both teachers and staff, the school has been able to reduce the spread by wearing masks, social distancing, and utilizing the contact tracing routine put in place.
"In my opinion, schools are one of the safest places to be," said Bagley who said the goal is to continue operating schools in-person.
Bagley also congratulated the Van Wert Cougar football team for their accomplishments. The team plays Sunday at 12:15 p.m. at Fortress Obetz in Columbus against the Mentor Lake Catholic Cougars for the State Championship title. To celebrate the team making it to State, a Welcome Home Parade is scheduled for approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sunday down East Main Street and will conclude at the intersection of Main and Shannon Streets.
Also during the meeting, the Board heard from seventh-grade Language Arts teacher Anita Zumber on writing techniques and writing intervention.
In other business the Board made the following motions:
- Accept the resignation, due to retirement, of Jeff Hood, high school health and physical education teacher, after 35 years in education with 25 of those years at Van Wert City Schools, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 contract year.
- Accept the resignation, due to retirement, of Diane Hood, kindergarten teacher, after 30 years in education with 22 of those years at Van Wert City Schools, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 contract year.
- Accept the resignation, due to retirement, of Kim Fleming, third-grade teacher, after 35 years in education with 25 of those years at Van Wert City Schools, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 contract year.
- Approve Curtis Schaffner as Assistant to the Director of Maintenance, pending all board policies pertaining to employment are met, effective November 30, 2020, as presented.
- Accept the following generous donations to the Van Wert City Schools from:
1. Various donations totaling $550 to Special Education in memory of Chris Raines
2. Federal-Mogul Powertrain - $1,000 to High School Robotics
3. Schrader Realty - $176.32 to High School Robotics
4. Schrader Realty - $100 to Elementary School Principal’s Fund
5. Pel Industries - $134.08 to High School Principal’s Fund
6. Ohiopyle Prints - $32.38 to High School Principal’s Fund
7. Laudick’s Jewelry - $200 to High School Boys Basketball
8. Bret Leon - $200 to High School Boys Basketball
9. Anonymous donation - $400 to High School Boys Basketball
10. Bret & Trinda Keber - $20 to the Middle School Student Activity Fund
11. Kelli Thompson - $20 to the Middle School Student Activity Fund
12. Harold Rosendahl - $500 to VWHS Masque and Gavel
The next scheduled regular meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, at 5 p.m. The meeting will be in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Original article courtesy of Times Bulletin