May 21, 2012 – A revised five-year financial forecast presented by Treasurer Bart Griffith at tonight’s Board of Education meeting indicates that, due to a significant number of retirements, as well as budget reductions and program restorations this school year, the emergency operating levy approved by voters last March will fund district operations beyond initial projections.
“The number of retirements we’ve experienced is nearly triple the typical amount in any given school year,” Griffith explained. “This will have a significant impact on district personnel costs and allow us to remain cash-positive through Fiscal Year 2017, which is two years longer than originally anticipated.”
As of today, the district’s Office of Human Resources and Employee Relations has received 63 retirement notifications representing a cumulative 2,209 years of experience. A typical year brings 25 retirement notices.
“While a number of veteran employees will retire this year, true to their altruistic nature, they’ve built high quality systems that will ensure we continue to mature as an educational institution,” said Dr. Dan Good, superintendent. “Additionally, for our community and its taxpayers, it means good fiscal news. Having the ability to stretch this emergency levy two years beyond original projections now means that we will not need to appear on the ballot for at least four or five fiscal years. This will be the longest break for levy requests since a six-year time span between successful levies in 1982 and 1988.”
Griffith shared with Board members that the district would maintain a cash balance of $2.16 million through Fiscal Year 2017. He also presented to Board members another scenario presenting the dire financial situation in which the district would find itself should the effort to reduce the district’s effective tax millage by 6.71 mills be successful.
“If the repeal effort is successful this year, it would be extremely devastating to our long-term fiscal health,” Griffith explained. “Instead of having a cash balance through Fiscal Year 2017, we would face a $7.4 million deficit in Fiscal Year 2013, which is next school year.”
Good said that should the repeal initiative appear on the November 2012 ballot, the district will need to develop a budget reduction plan that would be put into effect for the second semester of next school year.