School District under budget; except for supplies
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
During Monday evening’s Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting, district treasurer Felicia Drummey said the district’s November revenue was $661,000; expenses were $2.4 million.
“This is typical of our revenue cycle,” Drummey said. “We were able to cover our expenses with the cash balance on hand.”
Following voter approval of a five-year, 7.5-mil emergency operating levy in November of 2010, the district has built a cash supply for lean months. District revenue is uneven because real estate tax disbursements are made only two times each year, income tax quarterly, and state revenue for schools on a guarantee, like Big Walnut, has been shrinking.
Drummey said the district received $127,000 from the Build America Bonds interest rate rebate in November that was not expected until December.
“All categories are under budget except supplies, which was over budget for November by $13,000,” Drummey said. “Year to date supplies are only $3,000 over budget. Overall we are under budget in each operating department.”
Finance Committee member Susan Hatcher gave a Tax Duplicate Monitoring presentation.
Hatcher explained that school districts have many controls over spending, but few ways to generate revenue; but it’s possible to find tax revenues due that for a variety of reasons are not ending up in district coffers.
“When resources are scarce in the district you have a financial responsibility to control the budget,” Hatcher said. “You need professional assistance on the revenue side; you want to assure the community you get the taxes coming to you.”
Hatcher said committee members reviewed proposals from four firms for providing tax duplicate monitoring services to the district.
“We asked ourselves: What were we looking for?” Hatcher said. “Responsiveness, a history of positive results, how they spread goodwill for the district, and are they cost-effective?”
While the district’s Finance Committee is, in Hatcher’s words, only a sounding board, after their review they recommended entering a Tax Duplicate Monitoring legal services’ agreement with Carlisle, Patchen and Murphy, LLC.
Later during the meeting board members tabled a motion to approve the Carlisle, Patchen and Murphy, LLC Legal Services Agreement.
Big Walnut High School teachers Angie Stooksbury and Stacy O’Reilly gave a presentation about integrating fiction and nonfiction in high school English classes, and across the curriculum.
Using a PowerPoint presentation titled: Literature is Life & Life is Nonfiction, Stooksbury and O’Reilly talked about how newer core literature curriculums are required to integrate fiction and nonfiction — 30 percent fiction and 70 percent nonfiction.
“How do you integrate fiction and nonfiction without spending a lot of dollars to do it?” Stooksbury asked. “When we partner fiction and nonfiction we have to ask ourselves: What do we want for our students? We want students to discover what they can pull out of it? They have to ask themselves: How can I make this work for me?”
Stooksbury said teachers should encourage their students to become, in her words, excellent manipulators.
“We want students to be informed, to be involved, to take a side,” O’Reilly explained. “Students should ask: How do we become involved with information, and manipulate this information to take a stand?”
Stooksbury said the goal that she and O’Reilly are working towards is to create critical thinkers who analyze and synthesize multiple perspectives from a variety of genres to establish educated opinions.
“The goal is student ownership, dynamic presenters, with a multimedia focus,” Stooksbury said.
Board members approved the Gallagher Benefit Services Consulting Agreement.
Board members approved the facilitation and training services as outlined in the “Statement of
Work” between the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and the Big Walnut Local School District for adoption of the Ohio Treasurer’s Evaluation System, for the period of January 1, 2013 through June 2013 and not to exceed $4,000 plus mileage.
Board members approved a Balance of the Year Classified Contract for Angela Snyder, Office
Assistant, Hylen Souders Elementary (90-day contract complete).
Board members approved Aaron Renner as a Wrestling volunteer.
Board members approved the following donation: $750 donated to Big Walnut High School Renaissance Program, donated from Big Walnut Education Foundation.
Board members will hold their 2013 Organizational Board Meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, January 14, 2013, in the Big Walnut Middle School Library.
The next regularly scheduled Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, January 14, 2013, in the Big Walnut Middle School Library.