Semi-Annual Report Shows Balanced Budget

Akron Public Schools Five-Year Forecast
Posted on 05/30/2018
Image of Akron Public Schools LogoThe Akron Public Schools (APS) latest five-year financial forecast reveals a balanced budget for fiscal 2018 and 2019.

Treasurer Ryan Pendleton explained the numbers at the May 29, 2018, Akron Board of Education meeting.

The Ohio Department of Education requires the five-year forecast every May and October, in part, to engage the board of education and the community in long-range planning for the school district.

Consolidation of the administrative offices has brought savings, as has the consolidation of the district's building inventory which now includes 47 school buildings. Just a few years ago, the district had more than 50 school buildings citywide.

Among the positive aspects to the forecast, Pendleton reported to the school board: 
  • The forecast is much improved due to health insurance, enrollment and consolidations.
  • Health Insurance, previously trending at an annual increase of 8-10%, will run at nearly 0% for the next two years, trimming millions from the budget.
  • The improved health insurance picture will also directly benefit the employees who worked on making plan design changes. For the coming 2018-19 school year, rate increases will be set at 0% because of those plan design changes.
  • Community School Enrollment (charter schools) has dropped almost 800 students since 2015, resulting in approximately $6.5 million staying with the district.
  • APS enrollment has trended up since 2016 as charter enrollment drops.
  • The district is looking at balanced budgets for fiscal 2018 and 2019.
Areas of concern for the district include revenue growth not keeping pace with inflation, and local property values have not recovered from the recession of 2008. These combined forces adversely affect local tax revenues and state, per-pupil funding. As a result, Pendleton reported that revenue is projected to grow at an average annual pace of 1.66% while projected expenditures are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 2.65%.

Despite challenges, Superintendent David James said the school district has made good, sound fiscal decisions while at a financial crossroads as it moves forward with initiatives like the I-Promise School and the College and Career Academies.

Pendleton was equally positive about how APS has faced its challenges and how it sees the future. "I am excited to see all the great work on our financial picture," Pendleton told the board. "Employee-led health insurance changes, increased enrollment and fewer students choosing charter schools leads us to a balanced budget. This is a great reflection of all staff in redirecting dollars to the classroom."
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