By Mary Smith
Previous forecasts for Weathersfield schools’ deficits from 2016 to 2018 all have been upgraded to positive balances, a school official said.
“We feel like we’ve done a lot of hard work and research to get us to this point,” schools Treasurer Laurena Rouan said in her October five-year forecast report to the school board.
She noted the district is frugal, and the result, along with changes in funding to the positive, will now change her May 2013 forecast from negative figures of $250,297 in 2016 and negative $1.39 million in 2017 to positive balances of $1.77 million in 2016, $1.891 million in 2017 and $1.848 million in 2018.
The district’s overall budget for fiscal year 2014 is expected to be $8.4 million, and the latest projection is a budget of $8.4 million in 2018.
Rouan noted that the district will receive an expected additional $113,000 in state funding in fiscal 2014, adding that state funding increases are expected to be received through fiscal year 2018.
She also noted that the district will receive its largest revenue increase based on an increase of 28 open enrollment students this year. Payment of an expected $5,800 per student from the state is expected to come through as late as February 2014.
About 300 students are listed as open-enrollment students in fiscal 2014, which make up about 30 percent of the district’s enrollment. Total enrollment figures have decreased because fewer people live in the district, Rouan said.
Rouan noted the two things that cannot be controlled but will have a big effect on the forecast are the state funding formula and the open-enrollment figures.
Construction at the local schools continues under an Ohio School Facilities Grant and a local bond issue totaling more $26 million. The junior-high gym at the high school has the exterior walls up, and the roof is on.
The weight-bearing walls at Seaborn K-6 elementary grade are up, and people can now make out the planned inside structure. The building should be under a roof by Dec. 1.