Prepared Text for Board Meeting – June 11, 2007

Marc A. Schare, 614 791-0646 Home

614 791-0067 Work.  marc9@aol.com

 

I’d like to start by offering an apology to our interim treasurer. At our last meeting, I made a statement that I had not received the resolution on the Certificate of Participation until a few hours before the meeting. This was not correct. In fact, Tracy did send them out in a timely manner and I simply overlooked them. Today, I offer the following updates.

First, I provided some testimony to the Senate Finance Committee last week, highlighting 4 points – in support of the continuation of the transitional aid guarantee, against the proposed ban on conversion schools and charter schools, in favor of the ODE proposal to have the money follow the kid, this eliminating Worthington’s massive losses due to autism scholarships and finally, the need to look at the significant cost drivers in K-12 education statewide. A copy of the prepared text, as always, is on my web site.

 

The transitional aid guarantee looks like a done deal implying that Worthington will, in fact, receive an additional 6.5 million dollars over what was in the forecast we approved last week. In addition, it appears that Senator Gardner’s proposals regarding elementary school gym are dead, at least for the moment. OSBA tells me that this proposal will be replaced by legislation requiring ODE to study the issue. Senator Gardner has proposed another somewhat controversial piece of legislation, this requiring the school year to start after labor day. If it gains traction, we’ll need to work up the financial and programmatic impacts, if any, and make our legislators aware of our concerns. As part of the testimony, I mentioned the entrepreneurial efforts that led to the creation of our Phoenix project. Senator Padgett, a member of the finance committee and the chair of the Senate Education Committee, was intrigued. While I could never do the project justice, at least not in my 30 second response, I did commit to follow up. If the process that led to Phoenix could be replicated across the state, imagine the good that could come from it.

 

Second, I contacted our county auditor to request information about why our fees were increased 40% this year, a cost to the district in excess of $350,000, said amount included in our recently approved forecast. The answer from their office is that they were not increased significantly. I’ve asked Tracy if she might get to the bottom of the anomaly. If it is truly an error, and I believe it is based on getting the actual fees charged by the auditor the last few years, this is truly found money, all be it one time money, and perhaps, just perhaps, we might spend a small portion of it on something frivolous like Middle School Baseball/Softball, assuming our other higher priority needs are met.

 

Finally, I want to mention a quick item about Mr. Betts’ presentation at our last meeting. Mr. Betts made a statement that Worthington would have received 6 million dollars more in FY2007 if the amendment was fully phased in last year. The statement left a few of us scratching our heads since Jonathan’s projections were pretty clear. Mr. Betts statement was correct, but misleading. They key phrased was ‘fully phased in’ and as we know, that won’t happen until calendar year 2017, so perhaps what Mr. Betts meant to say is that if the amendment has passed in 1997, all things being equal, Worthington would get that money.