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Education

Revere BOE OKs ‘solid’ five-year forecast

10/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

The Revere Local Schools Board of Education approved the district’s five-year forecast during the Oct. 15 meeting.

“We have a very solid forecast that will take us through 2018,” said Treasurer David Forrest after giving an update on revenues, expenses and trends.

Forrest said the forecast indicates the district would be able to operate without requesting any new levies through 2020. He added the district would need to start talking about renewing one of its operating levies by the end of the next calendar year.

One of the bright spots in the budget is salaries, which Forrest said are relatively flat. In addition, the district estimates that 25 employees will be eligible for retirement in 2014 and 2015. The forecast includes the assumption that 20 will retire and the district would hire replacements that would likely cost less due to their experience level. But Forrest said there would need to be discussion at that time as to whether the district wants to fill all those positions.

“We are very fortunate because we have control over the largest item in our budget, the salary side,” he said.

The forecast also shows an increase in expenditures on supplies, mostly due to upgrades in curriculum materials, as well as in the capital budget to cover the cost of additional technology needed to address required online testing of students.

The district has projected revenues of about $33 million for the next three years, then a slight drop to $31 million in 2017 and $29 million in 2018.

Forrest said the district is in good shape, but officials do have two concerns: that private vouchers will be introduced to the public school system and that the school funding inequities in Ohio will not be resolved.

The district’s forecast is reviewed twice a year, with this month’s overview being the first for the current fiscal year’s budget.

Also during the meeting, the board approved allowing GPD to finalize bid specifications and issue bid packages for a project to connect Bath Elementary School to the city of Akron’s sewer system.

Forrest said the estimate for the project is $140,000. But he added that Akron is asking for $48,000 for the district to tie in to the system, a fee that was not anticipated.

Bath Township’s attorney Robert Konstand and Administrator Vito Sinopoli are looking into the issue, Forrest said.

Board member Diana Sabitsch asked if there is an estimate of what the district will be paying quarterly in sewer fees, and Forrest said he didn’t have that number available.

He also said because the project is in the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD), it could mean that employees in that building would be subject to the higher income tax of 2.25 percent. Board members questioned that, since the district will only be receiving sewer and not water, unlike the Embassy Parkway area in which the JEDD was established.

Despite those challenges, Forrest said the project makes more economic sense than the district building a sewer plant.

He said he expects the board will have a contract for the project ready for a vote at its November meeting.

During her legislative update, Sabitsch said Ohio Sen. Tom Sawyer (D-District 28) introduced Senate Bill 15, which is meant to determine what the appropriate costs are to educate a child in primary and secondary school to fix the current funding system in Ohio, which has been ruled to be unconstitutional.

Superintendent Randy Boroff told the board about training Oct. 14 on threat assessment protocol for administrators and counselors that uses Homeland Security procedures. He said bus drivers also will be trained and board policies on the issue will be reviewed.

He also reminded the community that there will be a community meeting on “Your Child’s Safety and Security at School” Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at Hillcrest Elementary School, 3080 Revere Road.

“We want to let the community know what has been happening in our school district and the need to bolster security and awareness in our schools,” Boroff said.

The board also approved the donation of $2,000 from the Revere Youth Football and Cheerleading for the varsity football program.

During the student recognition portion of the meeting, the board congratulated National Merit Commended Students Olivia Detzel and Sydney Katz and National Merit Semifinalists Carl Ahlborg, Erik Godard, Andrea Huther, Paul Kim and Charles Li.

Also recognized were Cuyahoga Valley Career Center students from the district. Lizzie Davis is the state president of Skills USA and Max Hess earned first place in the state for his Career Pathways Presentation.

The board will next meet for a special meeting Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Building, 3496 Everett Road. The next regular meeting is Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Revere High School Library, 3420 Everett Road.

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