UNION CITY — During Mississinawa Valley Local School District’s September 11 Board of Education meeting, a decrease in state funding was discussed.
According to Mississinawa Valley’s Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Hamilton, the district’s funding was decreased about $200,000, due to a decrease in enrollment, about 50 students over a three-year span, and a higher valuation within the district.
“We expected the reduction in funding so it wasn’t a big surprise,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he is not sure of the factors leading to the decrease in enrollment, but the district goes through a cycle. The following are Mississinawa Valley School District’s ADM (enrollment) numbers per year, which is what the district funding is based on: 2014-710; 2015-711; 2016-644; 2017-640 and 2018-639.
The projection of state foundation funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and FY 2019 was prepared by the legislative service commission. It shows that most Darke County districts are projected to be flat funded to FY 2017 levels for both years of the biennium, according to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). This is largely related to the large increase in property values in the county compared to other parts of the state. In regards to the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula and district wealth, school funding in Ohio is based on the district’s wealth compared to the wealth of other Ohio school districts. As the agricultural valuation increases, the district’s relative wealth increases and in turn, the school district’s receives less state funding.
“We are a farm-rich district as far as land,” Hamilton said. “When that valuation went up and our enrollment went down to the state, we look wealthier and the state reduced our funding.”
State Foundation Aid Estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 in the school districts are as follows: Ansonia, $4,575,742; Arcanum-Butler, $5,800, 963; Franklin-Monroe, $3,359,192; Greenville, $13,074,037; Tri-Village, $4,207,966 and Versailles, $8,365,369 .
Both Mississinawa Valley and Bradford school districts show a reduction: Mississinawa Valley’s 2017 FY estimated aid was $4,788,654 and the 2018 and 2019 estimates are $4,575,874. Bradford’s 2017 FY estimated aid was $4,136,867, the 2018 estimate is $4,116,564 and the 2009 estimate is $4,114,157.
According to ODE Associate Director for Media Relations Brittany Halpin: estimates are based on ADM (enrollment) as of the first payment for January 2017 for traditional school districts, and valuation projections provided by the Department of Taxation; projected ADM does not change from FY 2017 to FY 2018 to FY 2019 and actual aid will be calculated based on actual data and is subject to change. The primary purpose of these estimates is to determine a state total obligation, Halpin said. Changes between estimates and actual aid may be significant, especially for individual school districts.
In other news during the Mississinawa Valley Board of Education meeting, Mississinawa Elementary School Principal Stephanie Klingshirn reported that 805 books were read by the Kindergarten through third-grade students during the “Kids Read Now” program over the summer. In addition, Klingshirn said she attended a workshop, “Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory”, a new tool that helps a school take inventory, or audit reading and outcomes.
“It would help us look at data, systems, and practices and is modeled after what we have used with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) the past couple of years. I believe this is a necessary and needed tool to help us improve our reading and towards the spring we will start the process of completing this in order to guide next year’s steps with reading,” she said.
Mississinawa Valley High School Principal Jeff Winchester said the school was off to a very good start. He also congratulated the varsity football team on their 21-6 victory against Bradford.
“That is our first varsity football victory since we defeated Bradford 30-12 here at home, Nov. 1, 2013,” he said.
The following were some of actions approved by the school board for the 2017-18 school year: Doris Schweppe as Saturday School Supervisor for this year; a tutor Rate of $17 per hour; school year transportation reimbursement amount calculated by the ODE; Aaron Lairson as full time nurse for a special education student; Gary Peace as seventh-grade Boys Basketball Coach; Robert Humphries as Junior Varsity Coach for High School Boys Basketball and the adoption of a new Attendance Policy per HB410 supporting a preventative approach to excessive absence and truancy.