Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Fort official says funding plan to benefit district

By Leslie Gartrell
FORT RECOVERY - Fort Recovery Local Schools District is projected to receive an additional $300,000 in fiscal year 2021-2022 as the result of a bipartisan school-funding plan included in the state budget.
The Fair School Funding Plan, supported by multiple education advocacy groups, is meant to bring more reliability to annual school funding payments to districts.
The budget approved by the House and Senate on June 28 notes the Fair School Funding Plan will provide about $10.9 billion to districts for the next two years, with an estimated per pupil cost of $7,202, according to an analysis by the Legislative Service Commission. Under the deal reached with the Senate, new per student calculations will be made in future budgets, and won't be arrived at through an automatic funding formula.
Fort Recovery Local Schools superintendent Larry Brown during Monday evening's school board meeting said the plan changes how the money the state provides school districts for each student is calculated.
The way local communities' contributions are measured also changed, Brown said. Under the old system, what a district could pay was based mainly on property tax values. Now the local district share is based on both property tax value and district residents' income, giving a more accurate picture of what a local district can actually contribute to the base cost, he said.
"For the next two years, it's beneficial for Fort Recovery schools," Brown said at the meeting. "In the past, (funding) was just based on property values. And so because of the (new funding plan), Fort Recovery schools will have a larger state share (of funding) and a smaller local share (of funding) based on the calculations."
Brown said a simulation projected the district will see an increase of $303,095 in funding during fiscal year 2021-2022 under the new plan. The district also is projected to see another increase of $270,708 in fiscal year 2022-2023, Brown said. That money will go into the school's general fund, Brown noted, so it can be used how the district sees fit.
In other business, board members authorized treasurer Deanne Knapke to refinance a $2.155 million school improvement bond.
Brown said the bond stems from a 2011-2012 renovation project at the high school. Refinancing the bond will shave two years off the estimated time it takes to repay the bond and save taxpayers roughly $400,000, Knapke said.
Board members also,
• hired the following as substitute teachers on an as-needed basis for the 2021-2022 school year: Daniel Braun, Cody Brown, Denise Bruns, Marilyn Fortkamp, Shirley Gruss, Beth Guggenbiller, Kelly Hein, Vicki Jutte, Sandy Kaiser, Sheri Kerns, Karen Klenke, Lisa Lennartz, Shelly McCain, Elaine Pax, Cheryl Perkeybile, Nancy Reinhard, Barb Sautbine, Kylee Sutter, Jill Walter and Courtney Westgerdes.
• hired Theresa Lennartz as a van driver pending completion of van driver certification requirements for the 2021-22 school year.
• accepted the resignation of Tracy Evers-Westgerdes as the junior high drama advisor for the 2021-22 school year.
• approved and thanked the following for donations: Fort Recovery Community Foundation, $1,675 to FFA; the Anderson's, $24 to FFA; and Fort Recovery Music Boosters, $4,000 to auditeria audio.
• set elementary and middle school student fees for the 2021-2022 school year.
• accepted Jeff Vaughn as a volunteer assistant girls golf coach for the 2021-2022 school year.
• met in executive session to discuss personnel employment. Brown said no action was anticipated.
The school board meets next at 6:30 p.m. August 16 in the high school community room.
- The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Mikesell, Knapke taking part in The Basketball Tournament
For Ryan Mikesell, it's a chance to make another impact.
For Luke Knapke, it's a chance to finally play.
The Mercer County basketball standouts will compete in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) starting later this week at the Covelli Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.