Felicity Franklin Local School District is an excellent school that not only provides a one of a kind educational experience for our students, but also provides a great place of employment for many. This district is part of a community that is proud of where we’ve been and supportive of where we’re going and all that we will achieve along the way.
We know that our community expects an outstanding academic experience and that is what we are striving to provide. Education today is different than it was 50 years ago and will only continue to evolve. We believe it is our duty to prepare our students for the next phase in their life whether it is college, the military, or the workforce. The only way to adequately prepare students for tomorrow is to continue to give students opportunities and experiences that help them grow as students, athletes, and community members.
We also know that without a balanced budget, accurate forecasting, and fiscal responsibility, these outstanding classroom experiences and achievements are not possible. It is important for us to share the financial status of Felicity Schools so you can be informed as to what your investment in our schools means for students as well as residents.
This financial update is designed to give you a first- hand look at our district’s financial status (as of the October 2018 forecast) in a condensed format. Please review the information and feel free to contact me should you have any additional questions. For a more in-depth analysis, you can find the district’s five-year forecast on our website under Documents or on the Treasurer’s webpage http://www.felicityschools.org/treasurer--4 .
Christy Laubach, Treasurer/CFO
Felicity Franklin Local School District
Financial Update (as of the October Five Year Forecast)
In Ohio, schools are funded from various sources (federal, state, & local). The chart below depicts the percentage of funding Felicity Franklin Local Schools is forecasted to receive from these sources in the 2018-2019 school year.
- State Funding- Revenue is predicted to decrease an average of .5% over the next five years. This decrease is caused by our drop in enrollment and due to a one-time $400,026 loss in State Funding caused by ORC 3317.028 which requires the Ohio Department of Education to reduce state funding if public utility valuations increase more than 10% in any year.
- Real Estate/Property Tax Revenue- Felicity Schools not only has the lowest property valuation in the county, but we also have one of the lowest amount of mills assessed. There are two schools that have less mills collected than Felicity Franklin, but those school districts also collect an income tax.
- Public Utility- Although our public utility revenue will increase due to the new sub-station on Chilo Cemetery Road, ODE will offset that increase by reducing our state funding. Inside the funding formula, the district’s ability to raise money locally is taken into consideration. As more revenue is collected locally, the less we get from the Ohio Department of Education.
- Federal Funding- Since 2013, the district has lost $347,159 in federal funding.
- Salaries/Benefits- Like most entities, Felicity Franklin Local School District’s expenditures are expected to increase over the next 5 years as teachers become more experienced and as benefit premiums continue to increase.
- In August of 2018, the district and the Felicity Educational Association agreed to new salary schedules which increased the starting pay of a teacher to become aligned with other nearby districts. These new salary schedules will help our district attract and retain talented new teachers but are also designed to slow down the rate of growth.
- Also as a result of our negotiations, our teachers are required to work an extra hour every week to attend data analysis meetings that are valuable in helping us understand where students need extra help, which will ultimately improve scores.
- Purchased services- These expenditures are also predicted to increase as special education costs, utility services, community school payments, college credit plus payments, and maintenance services to our facilities continue to rise. Although the district has done a great job with maintenance upkeep on our buildings, natural wear & tear are inevitable. We have started to experience significant repairs to our facilities including our chillers.
The district has had a positive Excess Revenue over Expenditure balance since 2011. For the first time in nine years, the district is predicting a negative Revenue over Expenditure balance. Over the past 5 years, Felicity Franklin School Administration has analyzed spending and has cut over $500,000 in expenditures. Fiscal responsibility is always at the forefront of our discussions even as we evaluate how to improve education opportunities for students. It is our belief that we do not have an expenditure problem but a revenue problem. Since we are so reliant upon state and federal funding, it is extremely important we are prepared for the decreases in state funding by saving & reducing expenditures when we can.
Administration, in partnership with our Board of Education, will continue to evaluate the financial condition of the district each October and May when the Five Year Forecast is submitted to the Ohio Department of Education and will keep the community updated with any significant changes. In the future, you will also begin to see articles on the school’s website. A few of the topics to be discussed are 1) How do Taxes Compare to other School Districts? 2) What are the Spending Priorities? and 3) How does the Budget Impact the Classroom. To read or discuss the in-depth Five Year Forecast and Notes that accompany it, you can call the Treasurer, Christy Laubach, at 513-362-5347 or visit our website at http://www.felicityschools.org/treasurer--4.