Fresh off a victory at the polls with a bond issue in November, Milford schools are hoping that the support shown by the community will continue. The Milford school board recently voted to place an operating levy of 5.9 mills on the March ballot.
Interim Superintendent Robert Farrell said that the move was necessary. The district, he said, appears to be out of money.
“The district is in pretty bad financial straights, and has been that way for a while,” Farrell said. “One of the things we shared is some of the other districts – they have what’s called a carryover balance. With over a $50 million budget, we’re expecting to have $61,000 at the end of the year. It might be a little more, but can’t be any less. You have to have a positive carryover balance. Other districts are carrying 6-8 percent of their budget. We don’t have that, and we don’t have busing or other expenses. We have cut close to $2.9 million in personnel and transportation and still have a $61,000 carryover.”
At the end of every budget cycle, the Ohio Department of Education requires school districts to finish with money leftover in their accounts. According to Farrell, the minimum amount recommended is 6-8 percent, which would be between three and four million dollars for the Milford district. However, after years of cutting costs after failed operating levy attempts, the district is still far short of the required cash cushion, and will likely fall into a deficit next year without added income.