Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

District may not see much increase

State has new school funding formula

By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER - Coldwater Exempted Village Schools is projected to see little benefit from the newly passed state school funding formula, district treasurer Jenn McCoy told school board members during their meeting Tuesday.
McCoy said early projections show the district may receive a $8,669 increase in state funding over the first two years the formula is implemented.
McCoy said she was "really disappointed" with the early projections, and board members questioned why their district's projection differed so greatly from other nearby districts.
A breakdown of additional aid estimates provided to McCoy by the Ohio Department of Education projects the district will receive an increase of $644 in state funding starting in fiscal year 2021, and an increase of $8,025 in fiscal year 2022. It is by far the lowest total amount of additional state funding that is projected for any district in Auglaize and Mercer counties under the new state funding formula, according to state figures provided by McCoy.
McCoy said updated numbers would be released in October, and the exact amount of aid the district could get could change as the formula for each district is processed. However, she did not expect a large change from the current projection.
McCoy said she was unsure of why the district's two-year outlook was so much lower than other districts. McCoy reported she'd contacted ODE about the projection and had been told ODE officials would not be taking questions until October when the formula had been properly processed for each district.
The state used to only factor in local property taxes when determining state funding, according to McCoy. Now the state reportedly also will factor in local income levels. McCoy said income levels or perhaps a decrease in Coldwater's population may have factored into the current funding projection.
Board member Gary Hoying said the district's student population had increased more than other schools in the county, so he doubted that possibility. A factor based on income tax could make sense, he continued, but not when he looked at Minster school district's numbers.
Minster is projected to receive $201,846 in the first year of the phase-in and $74,765 in the second year, according to a list of initial estimates for districts in Mercer and Auglaize counties.
McCoy said the district's state funding had remained flat for about a decade, and it looks like that would continue for at least the next two years. The new funding formula is being phased in over the next six years.
Board member Jim Miller said the district would have to ensure the information being used for the formula is correct.
Superintendent Jason Wood assured board members there would be a chance to question the numbers, but also stated ODE was undergoing a lot of changes.
In other business, Wood encouraged residents to vote on Aug. 3, when the district has a 2.5-mill continuing permanent improvement levy on the ballot. The levy would help fund more extensive roof repairs and HVAC system work, he said.
Board members also
• approved administrative, classified and miscellaneous salary schedules for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Administrative and classified salaries reportedly were not changed, and wages for miscellaneous substitute positions were increased from $8.80 to $9.80 per hour.
• approved benefits for the classified staff with no changes from the prior year.
• approved 1.5% stipends for administrative and classified staff for the next two years.
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MINSTER - Councilors meeting Tuesday under suspension of rules approved placing a 3-mill fire-emergency medical services renewal levy on the Nov. 2 ballot.
WAPAKONETA - Four new COVID-19 cases were reported in Auglaize County since health officials' last report on Thursday, according to a Tuesday news release from county health department officials.
MARIA STEIN - Two people were transported to Mercer County Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries after they were involved in a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of state routes 119 and 716 reported at 2:16 p.m. Monday.
VAN WERT - A Celina man has been charged with fourth-degree felony gross sexual imposition in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.
According to his
Mercer County's unemployment rate for June was 3.9%, up significantly from May's rate of 2.9%.
However, the county maintained its status as second lowest for joblessness among Ohio's 88 counties, according to an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services news release.
ST. MARYS - The West Beach has once again been placed under a contamination advisory due to high levels of E. coli bacteria, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
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The Lima Junior Golf Association began its final week of regular season tour play at Moose Landing Country Club in Ottawa for the Weisenburger Builders Open on Tuesday.