In May 2020, Governor DeWine issued an Executive Order, cutting state funding to Ohio's schools by $300 million due to the loss of sales tax revenue from the coronavirus's effects. Of that amount, Groveport Madison's reduction equaled approximately $1.1 million (approximately 2.67 percent of the District's FY20 budget). Of even more significant consequence, the state made the initial funding reduction with only six weeks remaining in the current fiscal year (ending on July 31, 2020).
“While the $1.1 million in state funding cuts immediately impacted the District's budget, thankfully, we were in a better financial position than many school districts," said District Treasurer Felicia Drummey. Last year (FY20), the superintendent reduced expenditures by more than $700,000. These savings, coupled with other cost-cutting measures taken over this year, set up the District to be more than $988,000 under budget by our July 31 fiscal year-end. "Were it not for the $700,000 in reductions made last year, the $1.1 million in state funding cuts we just received would have significantly impacted our current financial situation, " said Drummey."
According to projections from the State Treasurer’s Office, Ohio’s public school districts should expect to see state funding cuts ranging from four to ten percent. “Groveport Madison Schools is very dependent on state funding,” said Drummey. “Nearly half of our total revenue comes from the State of Ohio. A state funding cut of 10 percent equals nearly $4.2 million to us annually. Keeping in mind that deficits compound year over year, it’s critical that we also make budget reductions for the coming year (beginning July 2020), or we will see even greater deficits in future years.”
- $2,330,306 in staffing reductions and spending reductions in FY21
- 22 staff positions to remain unfilled (through attrition, expiring contracts, and program changes).
- The addition of $2,088,378 in Student Wellness and Success Funding from the State ($500,000 new dollars this year).
- The addition of one-time Federal “CARES” funding for Title services (estimated at $1,900,000)
- Additional cost reductions will be made in FY22 by not filling positions that occur through attrition and revising course scheduling to maximize operational efficiency.
Based on the current cost-reduction plan and anticipated state funding allocations, the District expects to end FY21 with a projected surplus of $793,130.
"We are taking the responsible step of reducing expenditures now to avoid future operating deficits that would have wide-ranging impacts on programs, staffing, and opportunities for our students," said Ogden. “Ensuring the continuity of instruction and the financial stability of the District are our top concerns. This is particularly challenging now when considering the potential expenses that will inevitably result from operating our schools while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.”
School districts provide services, and like other service industries, the vast majority of our expenses are related to labor costs. “We know that making budget reductions impact people’s livelihood, and it’s one of the most gut-wrenching decisions we have to make as leaders," said Ogden. “We have worked very hard to develop a cost-reduction plan that
minimizes the impact on students and the quality of their academic program and ensures the District remains on stable financial footing through at least 2024, when the current operating levy is up for renewal.”
We believe most job losses can be managed through attrition and/or not filling positions that were anticipated to be filled in the future. Based on the current cost-reduction plan and anticipated state funding allocations, the District expects to end FY21 with a projected surplus of $793,130.
"We feel we have a solid financial plan in place for the foreseeable future," Ogden said. "There are still many unknowns, but we will continue to follow any additional news from the State closely and monitor any additional expenses realized as a result of the coronavirus. We will continue to provide the high-quality education that our students deserve."