Prepared Text for Board Meeting – February 9, 2009 (Resolution)

Marc A. Schare  614 791-0067 Work -  614 791-1779 Fax

marc9@aol.com

 

This resolution is designed to remove the uncertainty regarding the potential for a federal stimulus windfall or a  possible windfall resulting from the Governor’s education proposal from the levy calculation. In my opinion, voters would be inclined to simply wait until November and see how Worthington fares in the State Budget Education  Sweepstakes. Since there are many reasons why it is preferred to pass a levy in May, this resolution seeks to remove that argument.

 

As of February 9, Worthington could receive as little as zero or as much as 4,000,000 from the federal government. Education spending in the stimulus has been added and subtracted at least twice within the last 7 days. Simply, there is no way to know prior to the bill being signed by President Obama. Worthington could conceivably lose funds as a result of the state budget package or could conceivably be a big winner by the time the state budget is passed. There is, again, no way to know, yet, it is desirable to proceed with a levy despite this uncertainty.

 

The levy amount is calculated in part based on the revenue portion of the districts five year forecast. The resolution espouses a philosophy that if Worthington were to receive federal and/or state money that would have materially influenced the levy amount prior to our vote this evening, that we will save most of that money and use it to reduce the size of our next levy or, alternatively, to delay the next levy a year.

 

Obviously, if federal or state money comes with strings attached, we will use the money for the designated purpose, however, if the money comes free and clear, we commit to not spend the windfall if we are given a choice. Just as we cannot know what new funds the state budget may bring, we also cannot know the mandates that budget may bring. The resolution will take those into account as well.

 

There is one exception. The resolution authorizes the district to spend 10% of any windfall on new or enhanced programming. The district, in recognition of the economy, elected to not earmark funds for new programming in the levy request. The only money for new programming must come from savings in other parts of the budget, for example, if health care increases are less than forecasted. The amount earmarked was going to be 0.5 mills, or about 900K per year. The maximum amount we could have hoped to get from the state is around nine or ten million per year, thus the 10% figure.

 

In 2006, the board of education made a promise to the community vis-ŕ-vis how we would spend, and how fast we would spend, bond fund dollars. We have kept that promise even though at times, it was inconvenient to do so, and levy voters can rest assured that if this board decides to make this commitment, we would keep this promise as well.