By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
The school district’s finances will be considerably stretched next school year, due in part to Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget, treasurer Richard Santilli told school board members.
The proposed budget calls for a 10.2 percent reduction in state-foundation support in fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1. But that’s not all the district will lose, Santilli said at this week’s board session.
The tangible personal property reimbursement, which all businesses paid on inventory, equipment and machinery, began being phased out a few years ago. The district will lose $703,637 in fiscal year 2012 because of it.
And, for the past nine years, the district has received public-utility deregulation reimbursement money. That’s been phased out completely, at a loss of $126,653 for the fiscal year, Santilli said.
“The part that bothers me the most is when money was being doled out in good years, our increases were nil, but now when there’s no money, our decreases are the heaviest,” the treasurer added.
Boardman schools will see the biggest cut in state-foundation funding of all Mahoning County school districts, according to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.
The district spends $8,740 per year to educate a student. That places them in the bottom 20 percent for spending per pupil, said Jim Massey, the district’s director of operations. The district receives $1,499 per student in state foundation money.
“In other words, we do a pretty good job with the money that we have,” he added.
Santilli notes the state budget isn’t final.
“The numbers have changed in the past,” he said. “But there’s almost a $9 billion shortfall they have to try to fill.”
The district would like to find ways to address the budget shortfalls without cutting teachers, said superintendent Frank Lazzeri.
“We’re trying to come up with some creative ways to plug the budget gap,” he added. “We’d rather not hurt students by cutting teachers, and we’re exploring some other ways of doing it so as not to have a negative impact on kids.”