West Carrollton shows school budget deficit through 2020

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

VIDEO School finances

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Employees face pay freeze for fourth time in six years.

Forecasted budget deficit

2016 - $3.76M

2017 - $2.47M

2018 - $2.93M

2019 - $2.37M

2020 - $3.72M

A five-year forecast showing continuing budget deficits includes nearly $500,000 in cuts West Carrollton schools announced last month after a levy defeat, according to its superintendent.

The preliminary forecast filed last week indicates a $3.72 million deficit by 2020 that would be higher if not for $280,000 in busing cuts and $215,000 in other reductions the district has announced, Superintendent Rusty Clifford said.

The financial forecast is set to go before the West Carrollton City School District Board of Education tonight, as is a measure for the more than 500 union workers in the district to agree to a one-year pay freeze.

Board President Debbie Bobbitt said she expects the district to approve both the forecast, and the resolution involving the West Carrollton Education Association and the West Carrollton Classified Employees Association.

“They realize we’re kind of all in the same boat right now until a levy passes,” she said.

The cuts, which will take effect this summer, include cutting busing to all preschoolers, high schoolers and those who live within two miles of school. They would be reinstated if voters approve a five-year operating levy in November, officials said.

“You have to be cautious when you look at this particular five-year forecast,” Clifford said, noting that a final forecast would come this fall. “….You have to be cautious with that because that might be temporary because if we pass it in November.”

Voters in March defeated a 5.5-mill continuous operating levy seeking new taxes in the district - which includes parts of Miami Twp. and Moraine – for the first time since in 2007. It would have cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $192 more a year while generating nearly $1.93 million annually, the Montgomery County Auditor's Office has said.

In November, the ballot issue will be a 5.5-mill, five-year operating levy and its failure would mean cutting jobs, Clifford said. Twenty teaching/staff positions would be cut prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year if that issue does not pass, officials said.

Additional revenue, district officials have said, is needed because caps in the state funding formula and phasing out of the tangible personal property tax reimbursements have put West Carrollton into deficit spending with its nearly $40 million budget.

From 2013-2015, the district has had budget deficits of about $1.59 million, $903,000 and $1.01 million, respectively, records show. This year, spending outpaced revenues by $3.76 million.

Those same numbers from 2017-2020 would be $2.47 million, $2.93 million, $2.37 million, respectively, records show.

The pay freeze for the unions would be the fourth time in seven years members have gone without an increase. Two years ago, both bargaining units agreed to four-year agreements for language and two years for wages, Clifford said.

Those increases were for 1.5-percent increases the first year and 2-percent hikes in the second year, the same percentage increases as administrators and central office support staff.