BG School’s 5-year financial forecast holding steady

Conneaut principal Jim Lang talks about new math program during BG Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Bowling Green Board of Education was dazzled by math skills Tuesday evening – first by a couple elementary students, then by the district treasurer.

Conneaut fourth grader Hayden Feehan and second grader Simran Gandhi impressed the board by demonstrating a new math program that helps kids learn number reasoning – all while making it fun. Unlike the monotony of flashcards, the computerized games allow the students to work at their own speed.

“As you can see, the students catch on real quickly,” Conneaut principal Jim Lang said, noting that second graders like Simran are already doing multiplication.

Hayden Feehan, Stacy Donley, Simran Gandhi and Kelly Lincoln talk about math program.

Then came the big numbers. Treasurer Rhonda Melchi, who is retiring later this year, presented her last five-year forecast to the board. When she started as school treasurer in 1995, the forecasts weren’t required. That changed in 1997, when the state started mandating the glimpses into the future.

“It’s a snapshot in time – what we know when it is prepared,” Melchi told the board of the forecast for 2018 to 2022. “That’s a little scary, isn’t it.”

The state’s biennial budget offered no surprises, she said.

“As predicted, Bowling Green’s budget will remain stable for the next two years,” Melchi said.

No big changes are expected in personnel or insurance costs, she added. This year was a little tricky because the number of employee paydays was 27, rather than the norm of 26. Looking ahead to 2021, the treasurer said the district will need renewal of its 4.2-mill levy.

Melchi told the board she took a conservative approach. “It’s not overly optimistic, but it’s not worst case scenario either,” she said.

She cautioned that toward the end of the five-year forecast, the expenditures will outgrow the revenues. “That gap gets a little big bigger,” she said. “We try to account for everything that could possibly happen. I don’t want to be overly optimistic.”

But it’s all just one snapshot. The tax revenues may come in a little higher – or not. The positive balance should hold through 2020. But one certainty is that come the next projection in May, the numbers will look different. “This line is going to move, I guarantee it,” Melchi said.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • The board recognized four local eye doctors for volunteering to do vision screenings for kindergartners. They are Dr. Tracey Needham, Dr. Mile Brujic, Dr. David Shilling and his assistants, and Dr. Nicholas Peiffer.
  • Scruci reported that in preparation for the school bond issue on the Nov. 7 ballot, he has made 92 presentations on the issue since September. He has 10 to 14 more scheduled. “We’re trying to get the word out,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure people get the right information.”
  • It was reported that this is Bus Safety Week, with an open house planned at the district’s bus garage on Bishop Road, on Thursday evening.
  • It was also noted that this is “Say Something Week,” which encourages students to report concerns of potential violence.
  • Scruci recognized three long-time school district employees who will be retiring in June. They are Karen Marsh, high school intervention specialist; Marcy Martelli, Kenwood intervention specialist; and Rozalind Herzig, high school business teacher.
  • The board approved trips for the Model UN organization to attend a conference at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, plus trips for DECA students to Cleveland and Columbus. The trips will not cost the district.
  • Scruci noted the generosity of local residents, with the district’s Hurricane Relief Fund raising more than $4,400 in donations.
  • The next board meeting was set for Nov. 14, at 5 p.m., a week earlier than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
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