As we start the new calendar year, the Mapleton Local School District is focused on the future, which includes our ongoing funding challenges. The district is currently in deficit spending, which means that we are spending more money to pay for staff and operating services than the federal, state, and local tax revenue being collected. Our five-year forecast shows deficit spending of $44,333 in 2023, $159,646 in 2024, $294,227 in 2025, $483,994 in 2026 and $640,923 in 2027 without fiscal responsibility of reductions in expenditures and/or additional revenue.
There are two ways to get out of deficit spending - either bring in additional revenue and/or spend less. We attempted to increase revenue with a request for a 3.2 mills operating levy in May of 2022, but it was not approved by voters. This would have cost the taxpayers .32 cents for each one hundred dollars of valuation.
The last new money levy for operating expenses passed was in 1991.
The School Board voted on Monday, January 9, 2023 to move forward with a 0.75%, 5 year earned income tax levy on the ballot this May. This would cost a taxpayer making $60,000 per year of earned income $450 per year. ($60,000 x .0075)
We have cut approximately $350,000 dollars from the budget in the past two years. We have slated to cut another $200,000 in personnel and service costs from the budget beginning in the 2023-2024 school year without additional revenue.
With annual enrollment shrinking and record high inflation, we have fortunately been able to maintain our services without asking taxpayers for new money, until now.
The average per pupil cost to educate a Mapleton student is $10,562.93, which is well below the state average of $13,577.69. The state share of revenue per pupil is $6,941.13 and the local share per pupil is $3,621.80.
Cutting costs will not be enough to eliminate our deficits over the next five years. Eliminating the deficit entirely would likely require eliminating some certified, classified and administrative positions. I do not believe we have positions that can be cut and maintain appropriate class sizes, learning opportunities, and safety in our buildings and on campus. Other measures to increase revenue would be higher school fees, athletic fees and extracurricular transportation fees.
Despite our best efforts to operate a lean budget, the combination of flat local funding, decreasing state funding as a result of declining student enrollment, and inflation at record levels requires the district to seek additional funds.
Mapleton Local School District belongs to our community, and charting a course for the future is a community responsibility and partnership. I hope you take the time to review the five-year forecast and other fiscal information located on the Mapleton website (https://www.mapleton.k12.oh.us/Treasurer.aspx) or by using the QR code below. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at [email protected] as I look forward to having more conversations about the future of our district with our Mapleton community.