It is truly a pleasure to be the CFO/Treasurer of the Pike-Delta-York Local Schools – an extremely well-respected school district in the State of Ohio. It has become increasingly evident that this community supports education and strong family values. It is truly a pleasure to work with the community, staff and students at P-D-Y. Being raised in a small community in southern Wood County, I know and understand the importance of relationships, communication and the commitment it takes for a community to assist in raising and educating their children.
In tough economic times, the temptation of allowing financial resources to dictate the direction of a district’s educational programs becomes more difficult. It is the primary focus of the Board, Superintendent and myself as CFO/Treasurer that we commit to working together to be excellent stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars. At the same time, too, we want to ensure that the children who come here each and every day along with those that graduate from Pike-Delta-York Local Schools are prepared to meet the challenges in today’s society.
The CFO/Treasurer’s Office is responsible for a majority of the day-to-day financial functions of the district including payroll, insurance, purchasing, payables and receivables, state and federal reporting for grants, forecasting revenues and expenditures, investing and most importantly, safe-guarding taxpayer dollars. In addition, one of the most important functions of the Treasurer’s Office is to work with the Superintendent and Board of Education in allocating adequate funding to all areas of the district operations so that the Pike Delta York School District meets the needs of each and every child that walks through our doors. Despite the challenges we face with educational funding, I truly believe in the education of our children for their future, as well as the future of our community.
Matt A. Feasel
CFO / Treasurer
P: 419.822.3391 (ext. 5103)
Assistant Treasurer / Payroll
P: 419.822.3391 (ext. 5105)
P: 419.822.3391 (ext. 5104)
In order to gain a better understanding of the financial condition of the District's General Fund (or general operating funds), one ought to review the District's most recent Five Year Forecast. Not only is the Five Year Forecast a tool that provides a lot of useful financial information, is also serves as a guide in the District's decision-making process. The structure of the Five Year Forecast includes a history of revenues and expenditures from the prior three fiscal years, as well as a projection for the current fiscal year and the following four fiscal years. (Note that a fiscal year is from July 1st to June 30th.)
When viewing the Five Year Forecast, it is important to know that the information presented is based upon a "snapshot" in time, given the information known at that specific time. As time goes by, additional information becomes available and essentially renders the Five Year Forecast as outdated. Furthermore, the Five Year Forecast can be considered a good planning tool that changes periodically once new or updated information is known.
Given the fact that the "snapshot" of financial information often changes, it is crucial for viewers to read what is included in the assumptions. The assumptions of the Five Year Forecast provide meaning and reflect the rationale behind the numbers. These should be considered prior to drawing conclusions or using the data as a basis of other calculations.
The Five Year Forecast is updated each October and May, as required by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). To read some of ODE's insight regarding a typical Five Year Forecast, "How to Read a Five Year Forecast" is a valuable resource that offers tips and explanations on how to best understand such a document.
If, for any reason, the link above does not populate the Five Year Forecast or if other technical difficulties occur, another alternative would be to click here* and do the following:
Please be sure to view the written assumptions that follow the Five Year Forecast, as these assumptions are pertinent to the full understanding of what is included in the forecast.
*This external site was developed as part of a joint project between the Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) Center for School Finance and Accountability, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO), and the State Software Development Team (SSDT).
August 2008 - OSFC Bond Levy
The voters successfully approved a $10 million Bond Levy (4.3 mills on real estate property) and a 0.5 mill Maintenance Levy so the District could participate in the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Project. By the District providing $10 million, the State of Ohio provided $15.5 million to completely update the building facilities within the District. With this OSFC Project, the District was able to construct a brand new PK-4 Elementary Building, completely renovate the 1970's High School Building, and update technology and security in the 1998 Middle School Building.
November 8, 2011 - Emergency Levy Passed
The voters of the District approved a 5.99 mill Emergency Levy for three years. This 5.99 mill Emergency Levy generates $909,937 per year for the District, and is critical to the daily operations of the District. The daily cost for the owner of a $100,000 residence is $0.50 per day. However, despite this additional funding, the District was still facing over $800,000 of deficit spending (spending over $800,000 more than revenues) at the end of FY12, and ultimately was forced to RIF two Certified staff and four Classified staff, as well as not replace two retired employees.
March 2013 - Maintaining Lean Operations
Since then, the District has operated very lean. In fact, in March of 2013, the CFO/Treasurer and Superintendent brought in an ODE Financial Expert, Robert Miller, to present his Staffing and Financial Analyses to the Board of Education. Mr. Miller noted that it is a common benchmark for districts to spend 80% of their total budget on staff salaries and benefits. Anything amount less than the 80% benchmark is considered "leaner than the average." Upon his findings, the following was determined:
May 2013 - A Dismal Picture
The state of Ohio requires all districts to maintain a Five Year Forecast, which projects cash balances over this horizon. The May Five Year Forecast indicated a negative ending cash balance of $180,639 for the 2013-14 school year. At that time, a new levy of 10 mills in November 2013 would have been needed to maintain current levels of quality and service.
July 2013 - Fiscal Responsibility
The district continued to focus on reducing spending, saving nearly $435,000 in 2012-13. To varying degrees in recent years, combining and restructuring positions, freezing wages, reducing salaries, and improving efficiency have all led to savings. Revenues for 2012-13 were greater than anticipated and the passage of HB 59 projected much needed state aid of nearly $880,000 for the district in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
October 2013 - A Brighter Outlook
Given the fiscal responsibility indicated above, the district’s negative position was pushed out two years, from 2013-14 to 2015-16, allowing the Board the opportunity to push back the levy from November 2013 to May 2014.
May 2014 - Major Goals Accomplished
The district continued to positively move forward, as the voters of the district provided approval on the May 6, 2014 levy issue. This levy was a renewal with an increase and was extended to five years in length. In addition, during the May Regular Board Meeting, the Board of Education voted to approve the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC) Certificate of Project Completion. The OSFC Project, which started after the original Board approval back in September of 2008, officially comes to a close and frees up much-needed funds for the district's Permanent Improvement Fund.
May 2015 - Bond Rating Upgrade and Bond Refinancing Saves Nearly $2M
On May 7, 2015, the Superintendent and Treasurer presented to financial analysts at Moody's Investor Services in New York City in an effort to upgrade the District's "A1 (negative outlook)" bond rating. The bond rating presentation was ultimately a success, as Moody's dropped the "negative outlook" due to "satisfactory and strengthening General Fund reserves," "tax base growth and favorable pro-forma financial projections,” as well as the effectiveness of PDY's management. The press release for this news update can be found here.
On May 21, 2015, the District concluded their efforts by issuing $10,950,000 of Refunding Bonds to refinance the previous bonds. A combination of low interest rates, upgraded bond rating, and perfect market timing not only allowed the District to save a significant amount of interest, it also allowed the district to shorten the term of the bond issue by 3 years. The total savings will reach $1,803,364 over the remaining life of the bonds. The press release for this news update can be found here.
July 2015 - Another Successful Year
At the close of FY15, the General Fund's ending cash balance was just over $2.5 million, which demonstrates significant progress from the past. This fiscal responsibility has led the district's cash position to a level that is more than triple than that of just two short years ago. In addition, a new state-of-the-art Bus Garage facility was completed at the end of April, and a new Field House is currently being constructed by the PDYLSD Foundation at the north end of Panther Stadium. These projects are great additions to the outstanding facilities that the school district currently possesses.