Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The doublespeak spin

The expected millage request is expected to come in much lower due to a realization of economies of scale due to Olentangy’s size. Teri Meider, Olentangy Board President

That has to be my favorite observation regarding the financial position of the Olentangy School District. The implication is that the reduction in expected millage and timing of the next levy has something to do with the size of the district. Not true. The latest Five-Year Forecast filed with the Ohio Department of Education is based on the new enrollment projections - reduced enrollment projections that wipe away $25 million in expenses through 2011 (the enrollment projections have been greatly reduced with the latest projections showing 1,000 less students by 2011 than predicted in the May 2006 Five-Year Forecast).

There are no economies of scale accounting for the reduction in expected mills, it's simply the result of lower expenditures due to less students.

That said, there are increased staffing patterns - increased staffing on a per pupil basis - that are driving expenditures higher than they would have been based on current staffing patterns. If the board wants to avoid higher tax burdens, it needs to address this soon. But don't count on it, since the discussion is being driven in another direction in order to present a different picture of the district's financial outlook.

No comments: