Prepared Text for Board Meeting – April 24,  2007

Marc A. Schare

614 791-0646 Home

614 791-0067 Work

marc9@aol.com

 

Folks, today I offer the following.

 

The Treasurer’s Advisory Committee met on April 10 and a very productive two hours. We discussed the fact that the Ohio Department of Education has our official “cost per pupil” number off by a mere $2000, or 20% and that we don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. We started to discuss some recommendations for how we will deal with the contingency fund. Several members of the committee have experience in these matters and will be submitting recommendations at the next meeting in May and we’ll pass them along. The issue isn’t how and when to spend contingency fund money so much as how and when to put it back. We then discussed some forecast changes and we received the welcome news that with the additional interest revenue and the changes in the forecast that will come from the putative maintenance of the transitional aid guarantee in the state budget, Worthington Schools could conceivably stay off the ballot for additional operating revenues until 2009. We’ll see what the state budget brings.

 

With regard to the State Budget and the importance of continuing the transitional aid guarantee, I provided testimony to the House Finance Committee on April 17. It was a somewhat chaotic environment because of the mass of people wanting to testify about Governor Strickland’s proposal for a moratorium on charter and conversion schools, but I did get 5 minutes to tell the committee the importance to us of the transitional aid guarantee, the suggestion to look at the ODE proposal to have the money follow the kid so that charter schools no longer impact public school district  revenue from local taxes, the importance of maintaining the grants associated with conversion schools and other entrepreneurial  efforts and of course, the importance of a permanent hold harmless clause for the tangible personal property tax. Along these same lines, Jonathan and I are meeting with Senator Goodman tomorrow afternoon.

 

And speaking of Jonathan, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on his new opportunity and I want to make sure that Worthington understands that this board has gotten so good at money management now that we even figured out a way, for the last year or two,  to get a treasurer valued at $145,000  at the bargain basement price of only around $100,000. I can only hope that our next treasurer doesn’t count this as a $45K savings and then try to spend it. Jonathan, I hope that you participate  in at least one more meeting so we all have the opportunity to thank you appropriately for all you have done for Worthington in the last 5 years. After all, you can’t put to high a price on credibility.  

 

Two weeks ago, we had a discussion about abatements and the consensus was that we should pass a resolution signaling our discontent with the general assembly for permitting one taxing authority to interfere with the revenue stream of another. We should do this, but in the meantime, I attended the April 16 meeting of the Worthington City Council. Council has decided to put a moratorium on residential abatements pending a thorough review of what it is they are looking to accomplish, but business abatements continue.. well.. unabated. In researching this issue, I found that the city of Westerville and Westerville City Schools now have a formal agreement where Westerville Schools are held harmless from these abatements in exchange for the school district permitting the city greater flexibility in the abatement process. While I understand and share our natural reluctance to interfere with city business, there is, in my opinion, too much money at stake to not take an active interest. I therefore reiterate my request that we schedule a joint meeting with council to discuss the issue or, if the board prefers, the finance committee can meet with their counterparts on council to see what can we done.

 

Finally, I’d like to congratulate Pete Scully on his election as President of the Worthington Education Association. I know all of us offer our hopes for a very successful and productive term or two in office and lastly, I’d like to acknowledge “Administrative Professionals Week”, so for all people in the district behind the scenes, including Sharon Rose, who was recently seen doing 5 jobs at once, your efforts are noticed, valued and appreciated.