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Summary of November 16 Ada School Board meeting

By Paula Scott

The Ada Board of Education held its November 16 regular meeting in the board chambers at 725 W North Ave. with all members present and 2024 board member Troy Erickson in the audience. All action items on the agenda were approved unanimously, including the 5-year financial forecast presented by fiscal officer Kim Light, a measure regarding authorization to levy taxes and acceptance of an HVAC improvement bid. (Meeting packet HERE, 5-year forecast HERE)

High School principal Dan Lee and Elementary Principal Jeremy Clark updated the board on programs and accomplishments during the prior month.

In her presentation, Light noted that Ohio House Bill 33, which establishes operating appropriations for fiscal years 2024-2025,  became effective in October. The bill phases-in a six-year Fair School Funding plan. As Light also points out, the State of Ohio budgets in two year increments, so numbers for the 5-year plan have concrete references for the first two years, but not for the next three. 

Another change resulting from HB 33 is that local funding no longer brings in extra funds for open enrollment students; Ada Schools typically have more open enrollment students coming in than going out.

Roof replacement due to leaks and new buses were named as needs that need to be addressed.

The full 19-page report is attached. It includes a general economic outlook, local tax collection and state revenue forecast, expectations for wages, benefits and other expenditures. It also provides a “True Cash Days” analysis of how many days the district could operate at year end if no additional revenues were received. (Chart attached.)

During the voting portion of the meeting, the board approved the Garmann Miller (architects) recommendation to accept the $1.619M bid for HVAC upgrades from Westerheide Construction Company. The completion date is listed as August 16, 2024 except for the auxiliary gym. That space will be completed by October 1, 2024.

The board approved a “certificate of expenditure based on contract” authorizing it to levy taxes subject to approval by electors and appropriation in the current fiscal year. (See p. 6 of attachment.)

Comments from Interim Superintendent Dennis Recker included a note that the Ada Schools levy renewal in the November 7 General Election was very exciting and that he was very happy with its passage and rate; 60.38% of voters approved the levy renewal. Recker also mentioned that Upper Scioto Valley Schools are hearing concerns about the potential impact of school vouchers on their financial outlook.