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  Boardman School District Earns Clean Audit Award  
  April 11, 2019 Edition  
     Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber has completed an audit of the Boardman Local School District finances for fiscal year 2018 with no major fundings.
      The audit report, released on Mar. 28, 2019, says that total actual general fund expenditures, were $46.327 million and says general revenues accounted for $46.131 million, or 89 percent of all revenues. Program specific revenues in the form of charges for services and sales, grants and contributions accounted for $5,671 million or 11 percent of total revenues of $51.802 million.
      Below are excerpts from the audit:
      Current Financial Related Activities
      The Boardman Local School District has carefully managed its general fund budgets in order to optimize the dollars available for educating the students it serves, and to minimize the levy millage amounts needed periodically from the community’s citizens. In Mahoning County, the Boardman Local School District’s state funding per pupil is the one of the lowest in the State of Ohio. Boardman Local School District’s local taxes are represented by one permanent improvement levy, two emergency levies and three current expense levies. These limited levies all need to be renewed and vary from five to 10 year terms.
      The District continues to be very aggressive in cost cutting measures, while maintaining the high quality programs that are a tradition of our District. Retire/rehire has been a very successful cost savings program. The District is afforded a lower cost per employee, while retaining quality and expertise for up to a three year period. The school board continues to explore areas to reduce operating costs. These areas include staffing, health care, natural gas, electricity, workers’ compensation and all insurances. The District is also exploring shared services with neighboring districts.
      The District negotiated a new three year contract with all employee groups which commenced in fiscal year 2018 and expires in fiscal year 2020. In 2018, 2019 and 2020 the base wage increased 1, 2 and 2 percent, respectively, for each year of the contract.
      Several significant legislative and judicial actions have occurred that have had a major impact on the District ---community schools, open enrollment, autistic scholarships, and the Jon Peterson Scholarship.
      The Jon Peterson scholarship gives more choice to special education students. In fiscal year 2018 seven parochial and community schools received approximately $266,540 for 16.59 students. The scholarship cost per pupil ranges from $9,622 to $25,637 and is paid 100 percent with local funds. This is a major concern for the Boardman Local School District, (BLSD) which has over 300 students enrolled in parochial schools.
      The BLSD will continue to lobby to the State of Ohio for changes in the way the funding is distributed for Community Schools, open enrollment, autism scholarships and the Jon Peterson Scholarship.
      The BLSD receives approximately $2,079 for each student through the State foundation. When a student leaves Boardman to go to a Community School or Open Enrollment, approximately $6,010 is reduced from the District’s
      funding. [Those] numbers, representing fiscal year 2003 through 2018, are evidence of the increased dollars that are being diverted to community schools, open enrollment schools, and private schools that receive scholarship funding.
      The State’s 2018 school foundation level increased approximately $523,934 from the fiscal year 2017 level. This was the first year of the new two year state budget. In the prior two year state budget which commenced in fiscal year 2017 the District continues to lose personal property reimbursement.
      The District collected $1,043,792 in personal property loss reimbursement from the State in fiscal year 2017, and $519,768 in fiscal year 2018, a $,524,024 revenue loss. New legislation passed in the new State Biennial budget will phase out the tangible personal property reimbursement by fiscal year 2019. This has a negative effect on school districts throughout the State.
      The Boardman Board of Education is very concerned about the loss of this revenue stream after fiscal year 2018.
      Personal Property Tax revenue at one time represented ten percent of the District’s revenue. In fiscal year 2003, the District collected $3.764 million on personal property and zero for fiscal 2019 and beyond. This decrease has put a tremendous strain on the District’s revenue and the ability to maintain financial stability.
      The BLSD has committed itself to educational and financial excellence for many years and is very proud of the 4 A’s of the District: Academics, Arts, Athletics and Accountability. The diverse curriculum programs offered to the students, our excellent test score ratings for past school years in addition to unqualified audits, are evidence of the Board’s commitment to maximize the resources that are provided to educate the students of the District.
      The District is committed to living within its financial means, and working with the community it serves in order to provide adequate resources to support the education program.
      Description of the District
      The Boardman Local School District serves an area of approximately 25 square miles in Mahoning County. The BLSD is staffed by 304 non-certificated and 350 certificated personnel to provide services to approximately 4,303 students and other community members.
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