Treasurer: State’s biennial budget may be less than expected

WELLSVILLE — Wellsville Schools Treasurer Eva Elliott advised the Board of Education that it may want to prepare for a little less financial assistance from the state’s biennial budget.

During Monday’s meeting, Elliott shared the information with the board based on reports from the state, to which the biennial budget will be starting next spring, but a table indicated the district is receiving $40 million less in tax dollars than estimated, despite the fact that expenditures were reported down, and the district might receive a small increase for the next budget.

“The reason I present this to the board is because the biennial budget is coming, and so we want to be prepared if we would have a very low increase in funding,” Elliott said.

The district was one of nine in Columbiana County – excluding the Beaver Local and United districts — approved for extra funding from the state’s budget, which was finalized at the end of 2015 following several revisions and formulas made on the state’s end.

Board vice president Tom Brophey also shared some insight into the matter based on talks with the Ohio School Boards Association, to which he serves as president of the association’s Northeast Region. Brophey said the OSBA has concerns about the budget as well as the possibility of cuts in education, but added that it was too early to tell in what direction the state budget would go the next time around.

“From what OSBA was able to pick up, it seems like that if you got any type of an increase in the biennial budget that we’re currently in, you more than likely will not receive an increase this time,” Brophey said.

Meanwhile, Elliott presented the general fund activity report, which indicated a ending balance of $3,085,979.40. According to Elliott, the district started with a balance of $3,048,570.84, received $753,901.74 in revenues and incurred $716,493.18 in expenses, resulting in an increase from the following month of $37,108.56. Elliott noted that the district’s revenues over the past month were higher than the expenditures.

In other business:

— The board approved the Master Supply Agreement with Direct Energy Business, which is offered by the consortium Meta Solutions, of which the school district is currently a member. As previously reported, the district entered into a consortium in order to save money on energy bills. The agreement recently went into effect. The board also approved a list of revisions, deletions and additions of board policies for Neola, formerly known as North East Ohio Learning Associates. Two new policies were added, one was delected, and 14 others were revised.

— In sports-related matters, the board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Wellsville Teachers Association and the Wellsville Board of Education to add the bowling program to Article VI, Section L of the Master Agreement and be placed on the supplemental salary schedule at Grade IV. According to Superintendent Richard Bereschik, the bowling program–which includes 20 student-athletes and has operated as a volunteer sports program for the past five years, now will have paid coaches.

Regarding sports personnel, Dale Palmer and Allen Bergert were approved to supplemental contracts to serve as bowling coaches and will be paid on a Step 5 scale, while William (Billy) Watson, Mark Barton and Robert Simms were approved as wrestling team volunteers.

— The board approved a field trip request for six teachers and their students to the Mall at Robinson in Pittsburgh for Dec. 1., and also approved the addition of Nikki Verzella and Bryce Bezdek to the substitutes list.

— At the conclusion of the meeting, the board entered into executive session for the purpose of considering the employment of a public employee or official. No action was taken following that session.

The next Board of Education meeting is 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Daw Elementary.