During the pandemic, creative measures have been taken to change the way schools, businesses, and families operate. School funding is no exception, and as we navigate these uncertain waters, the questions are how badly will Ohio’s public education system be affected, and what can be done about it.
The erosion of state tax collections has caused Ohio to reduce funding to school districts on an “equalized per-pupil approach.” Edgewood City Schools has experienced a $581,408.00 reduction in state foundation funding for the current fiscal year that will end on June 30, 2020. This funding reduction was announced just 45 day before the end of the fiscal year, leaving our district little time to reduce spending to offset the loss of funds. Although Edgewood has received $329,393.00 from the CARES Act, to what extent we can use this amount to offset the aforementioned loss is not known at this time.
In order to meet this financial challenge, the Edgewood Board of Education took action during a special board meeting on June 2, 2020, to determine what steps were needed to offset revenue losses for the upcoming school year. A decision was made to reinstate the fee to participate in sports and extracurricular activities for the 2020-2021 school year. The last time the “pay to participate” fee had been in place was prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year. At that time, the participation fee was used to cover transportation costs for sports and extracurricular activities. When the fee was eliminated by our board, on July 30, 2018, the district was able to offset the transportation costs which eliminated the cost being covered by the students participating in sports or extracurricular activities. We regret this cost can no longer be covered by the district. Effective with the 2020-2021 school year, a student wishing to participate in any sport or extracurricular activity will be charged a $50.00 fee for each activity or sport, up to $100.00 for the school year. For families with multiple students who wish to participate in extracurricular activities or sports, the maximum participation fee for a family is $250.00. Details will be communicated to families in July on how to pay the participation fee.
Another cost saving measure being taken for the 2020-2021 school year is the elimination of our printed district calendar. This calendar has been produced and mailed to every home in our community for the last two years. By not producing the calendar, our district will save $12,000.00. In place of a printed calendar, we encourage our students, families, staff, and our community members to download our mobile app for information about events, activities, cafeteria menus, news, and much more. Our mobile app can be downloaded free from your phone’s app store by searching “Edgewood City Schools, OH”. Also, our district website is another user-friendly communication tool that provides information about the activities and events going on in our district along with lots of photos of our students.
Knowing there will be additional reductions in funding in the coming school year, we will continue to do everything possible to stretch our tax dollars and continue to provide a great educational product for our students. Unfortunately, due to so many uncertainties, it is too soon to know the full financial impact on the district as a result of the aforementioned reductions in state funding for the 2020-2021 school year.