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Green district not rattled by new state budget

2/7/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Plus, board approves calendar for next school year

GREEN — At the Green Local School District Board of Education meeting Feb. 4, Treasurer Eydie Snowberger commented on Gov. John Kasich’s state budget, specifically the Achievement Everywhere Plan, released that day.

No real figures are available yet, she said, but simulations on what individual school districts can expect to receive based on the new school funding formula are anticipated to come out today or early next week at the latest, she said.

The governor’s plan is based on fairness, she said.

“His [idea] is every kid should get the same amount of money no matter where they’re from,” she added. “They were the first to say, ‘Look we’re not saying we’re giving you enough to educate a student. We’re not saying this is the magic number. We’re saying let’s make it fair.’

“Everyone starts out at first with 20 mills with the same dollar amount,” she added. “What that’s going to look like we’re not exactly sure.”

As long as Kasich is re-elected and the budget sticks, money Ohio school districts receive through “the guarantee” will go away, she added. Though 75 percent of Ohio districts are on the guarantee, including Green, those dollars may only be distributed for one more biennium, she noted.

Kasich’s goal is to end the guarantee, and he wants Ohio school districts to make plans to end their dependence on it, she added.

At one point Green was on the guarantee for $3 million, Snowberger said. Last year, the district was on the guarantee for $117,000, she added.

“We’re in better shape than some that are still deep into the guarantee. So I’m hoping that’s a good thing for us.”

The budget also includes no additional changes to the tangible personal property reimbursement, she noted.

Also, a number of one-time grants, to be awarded for projects designed to save districts money, are planned, she said.

The education budget also includes $50 per student for gifted student testing and a pot of money for catastrophic cases of special education students that has been upped from $10 million to $100 million, she added.

While the budget has yet to go through the General Assembly and is likely to change, Snowberger’s summary assesses what is known right now, she said.

“A lot of this is speculation at this point,” she added.

In other news, Snowberger noted the district received casino revenue last week from the Ohio Department of Taxation. For fiscal year 2013, the district got one payment of a little more than $86,000, she said.

On the district’s five-year forecast, she estimated they would receive $21 per student, and the actual amount received was only slightly less than that, amounting to $20.93 per student, she noted.

Also at the meeting, the board approved and adopted the district calendar for the 2013-14 school year.

Superintendent Mike Nutter thanked Green Education Association (GEA) for working on the document. He noted GEA drafted a calendar for 2014-15 as well, which will require board action sometime in the next couple of months.

“This is the first year that we’ve gone two years in advance,” said Nutter.

According to the 2013-14 document, Aug. 26 will be the first day of school for students, and the final day will be June 5.

In other action, the board approved adding Fund 506, for $1,050 received from the Ohio Department of Education through a grant for the Resident Educator Program, to permanent appropriations.

The money will allow three established teachers to mentor new teachers in the district, according to Snowberger.

Also, the board approved the transfer of $4,848 from the General Fund to the High School Musical account to cover complimentary tickets to the musical for staff and senior citizens.

“We do this every year,” said Snowberger.

The consent agenda included hiring four certified home instructors and eight as-needed bus washers. Several supplemental contracts also were awarded, including Jason Nelson as boys soccer coach for Green High School for the 2013-14 season.

The board also honored students of the month for February, including Natalie Noirot from Greenwood Early Learning Center, Alyssa Ziehler from Green Primary School, Nimra Asif from Green Intermediate School, Sydney Riffle from Green Middle School and Alexa Benear and Griffin Jenkins from Green High School. Green Intermediate School student of the month for January, Collin Johnson, also was recognized.

During board members’ comments at the end of the meeting, Connie Leonard noted the Green Schools Foundation will hold its annual reverse raffle and silent auction to raise money for classroom grants and scholarships Feb. 23. For more information about the event, visit www.greenschoolsfoun dation.com.

The next Green school board meeting is scheduled for March 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.

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