First, it is important to understand that there are two main types of funds for public school districts, operating expenses and capital improvement expenses. Operating expenses are generally paid from the general fund, while capital improvement expenses can be paid from the general fund, or they can be paid from a separate capital improvement fund. OPERATING EXPENSES CANNOT BE PAID FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND.
The capital improvement fund in Worthington Schools has been funded primarily by sale of property. For example, when the district sold the property up on Park Road, we received 2.6 million dollars for capital improvements and repairs. Much of that money went to fund emergency roof repairs, such as we discovered when we investigated a leak in the roof at Worthington Estates and found that the entire roof needed to be replaced. The capital improvement fund, by law, must pay for items with an expected life of over 5 years. The district has identified those items. Some of the items have already been budgeted for in the operating budget. Others have been identified, but we do not have the money to pay for them.
As part of the bond levy plan, the Worthington Board of Education passed a resolution that details where the money will be spent. Obviously, as issues come up, we may deviate slightly from the plan, but in general, the resolution gives you an indication of where the funds will be spent. Here is the breakdown:
|Category||Amount in Millions|
|Buses (1.23 million will also be cost shifted from Gen. Fund for a total of 3 million)||
|Computers and Technology||
|Cost Shifting from General Fund for items such as Textbooks, Maintenance, Equipment and others as permitted by Ohio Revised Code||
As you can see, the bulk of the funds will go toward facilities maintenance. We've budgeted 1.23 million dollars for school bus replacements, and with 1.77 million dollars from the bond fund, we will use a total of 3 million dollars to replace our aging bus fleet. Our district has not upgraded our technology since 1999, so we plan on using around 3 million dollars for that purposes. As part of our financial restructure, 10 million dollars worth of items that are currently budgeted for in the operating fund will be cost-shifted to the capital improvement fund. This will directly reduce the size of future operating levys. Finally, we have allocated 2.5 million dollars for a contingency fund that will only be accessed for unanticipated and/or urgent needs. In other words, we will not issue the final 2.5 million dollars in bonds unless we have to, so there would be zero cost to the taxpayer, and if we do issue those bonds, you will know why we issued them. Remember, we promised.