ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — Pymatuning Valley Local Schools are reviewing long-term trends as administrators attempt to plan for the future, said PVLS Treasurer Thomas Brockway.
“Every school district in the state of Ohio has to do a five-year forecast twice a year,” he said.
Brockway said the plan is a good way to interact with the school board and the community so there aren’t any “surprises.” He said some of the challenges occur when there are significant potential changes in revenues due to a recession or crisis.
“This is a report built upon modeling trends ranging from demographic information such as the changes in the size of enrollment to financial information such as the costs towards replenishing our of school buses by cycling out older school buses with newer school buses, Brockway said.
“These financial forecasts tend to look dire and seem to spell certain doom as they extend out towards the five-year mark,” Brockway said.
He said the positive side is they keep administrators and school board attuned to tackling challenges that lie ahead, whether that be a decline in state funding due to the coronavirus or the need to pass a renewal levy.
One of the challenges facing financial leaders in school districts throughout the state relates to what revenues will be available during particular years. Economic recessions and short-term catastrophic events can affect the financial health of a district.
With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing it is a challenge for treasurers to have tools to analyze the availability of resources when economic factors play into the equation.
“By definition we are in a recession ... but there hasn’t been a large delinquency in the collection property taxes,” Brockway said.
He said expectations of large revenue gaps from the pandemic have not all occurred at the state level.
“I haven’s seen any major cuts ... so I don’t want to go to gloom and doom,” he said.
Brockway said reviewing financial issues is a constant and is taking the approach of wait and see to figure out what the state legislature will do with funding.
If there are cuts that will drive more discussions.
“It is me guessing what the state is going to do when I don’t think they know what they are going to do,” Brockway said.