Blanchester schools’ finances trend up

Staff report

BLANCHESTER — The Blanchester Board of Education says its five-year financial forecast projects having a cash balance of $5.6 million in fiscal year 2017, after adding $768,000 over the next two years.

Over the last three years, Superintendent Dean Lynch said, the district’s revenues have exceeded expenditures, adding $1.5 million to its cash balance.

The “True Days Cash,” which he said shows how many days the district could remain open if all funding ceased, averages 131 days.

“Good fiscal responsibility for school boards is to have at least 90 days’ worth of funding set aside for daily operations, and we have exceeded that threshold,” he said in a prepared statement.

In the 2015 fiscal year, expenditures exceeded revenues by $83,000, but in 2013 and 2015, the revenues exceeded expenditures by $1.6 million.

“In fiscal year 2015, we spent 5.2 percent of what we saved in fiscal years 2013 and 2014,” Lynch said. “It is no different than what most in our community do with their personal finances; they save a little each year to use it for future needs and/or improvements.”

Those needs and improvements, Lynch continued, included replacing parking lots, playgrounds and two roofs, and purchasing new buses, 160 computers to establish technology classrooms, 1,060 Chromebooks toward its one-to-one initiative, 40 Chrome boxes and 15 laptops for chemistry classes. The district also upgraded its athletic facilities and eliminated or reduced K-12 school fees.

Other improvements made by the board, according to Lynch, included employing more teachers at two elementary buildings, settling a competitive compensation package with employees and overhauling the district’s communication system.

“Closely monitoring our budget has allowed the Board of Education to address the needs and improvements throughout the district without going to the community to ask for more operating dollars,” Lynch said. “With all the cuts in education, we are very fortunate to be able to meet the needs of our school district in and outside the classroom these lastthree years and still be financially sound in the future.”

Blanchester Local Schools contributed to this report.

Staff report