WL-S forecasts declining cash reserves


By Casey S. Elliott - celliott@civitasmedia.com



Predicted declines in revenue from the state and increasing costs will eat into West Liberty-Salem Local Schools’ cash reserves.

The school board approved the district’s five-year financial forecast May 23. The forecast must be developed by Ohio law in May and October each year.

Revenue is estimated to end the current school year at $14,607,779 and next school year at $13,524,569. Revenue is predicted to decline to $12,613,803 in the 2020-21 school year.

West Liberty-Salem Treasurer Steve Godwin told the school board he is predicting declines in funding from the state, due to reduced enrollment and the latest state budget proposal. Though the district has received some additional property tax revenue and increases in open enrollment students, it is not enough to make up the estimated shortfall of the state funding proposal.

Expenditures are estimated to end the current school year at $13,635,010 and next school year at $13,590,727. Expenses are estimated to increase to $15,273,160 in the 2020-21 school year.

Expenses are estimated to increase due to staff salaries and insurance costs. Staff salaries are predicted to increase 2 percent in the 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, and 1 percent in the 2020-21 school year, Godwin said. Health insurance costs are estimated to increase 12 percent next year, and 7 percent for the remaining years of the forecast.

The district estimates it will end the current school year with a $972,769 surplus, and next school year with a $66,068 deficit. The shortfall is estimated to grow to $2,659,357 in the 2020-21 school year, though it will be covered by cash reserves.

By Casey S. Elliott

celliott@civitasmedia.com

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.