Troy Board of Education approves five-year forecast


By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

TROY —The Troy Board of Education met on Wednesday, approving the Five-Year Financial Forecast for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Treasurer Jeff Price said, with the state’s new funding formula, the district has yet to receive any additional information on what the district will receive in the future. He said they expect to receive additional information in December.

In the Nov. 10 draft, total revenues and other financing sources forecasted for the following years include:

• $50,319,265 for fiscal year 2022

• $50,517,003 for fiscal year 2023

• $50,970,823 for fiscal year 2024

• $51,431,452 for fiscal year 2025

• $51,898,989 for fiscal year 2026

In the Nov. 10 draft, total expenditures forecasted for the following years include:

• $51,966,519 for fiscal year 2022

• $53,646,916 for fiscal year 2023

• $55,491,394 for fiscal year 2024

• $56,702,357 for fiscal year 2025

• $57,860,068 for fiscal year 2026

The forecasted revenues do not include the district’s cash balances.

State law requires schools to operate with positive cash balances. The forecast document states, “Given the uncertainty of future state budgets, local, state and national economic factors, as well as state and/or federal mandates, years beyond fiscal year 2022 may deviate significantly from the forecast.”

The forecast document notes that, with the lack of community approval of the Pre-K through sixth grade building plan on Nov. 7, 2017 and March 17, 2020, “this will have a further impact on our bottom line as we will continue to not be as efficient as we need to be heading into the future with personnel and maintenance costs.”

The forecast also notes the “added financial risks associated with the recent COVID-19 issues will also put additional strains on our annual budgets for future years to come.” In regard to the district’s income tax it collects, the district saw a reduction of $42,629 for fiscal year 2021 due to the pandemic. The district is projecting an annual 1.5% increase in collections for fiscal years 2023 through 2026.

Also on Wednesday, the board started off its meeting with a moment of silence to recognize the loss of two employees of the district. Rebecca “Becky” Pappas, 71, of Troy, passed away Oct. 16. She first served as an aid in the district and then as a treasurer’s assistant. Jody Price, 48, of Troy, passed away Oct. 25. She was a fourth and fifth grade teacher for Troy City Schools at Forest, Cookson, and Kyle Elementary.

Board President Tom Kleptz also congratulated returning and new board members following last week’s election.

“I would like to congratulate Sue (Borchers) on her re-election to the board and also recognize Levi Fox and Theresa Packard, who got elected a little over a week ago, so welcome and good luck starting in January,” Kleptz said.

During the presentations, Director of Curriculum/Assistant Superintendent Michael Moore presented on the district’s allocation of funds that it is receiving through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Of those funds, Troy City Schools will be receiving approximately $233,698 to be used to pay the excess cost of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. There will also be approximately $11,946 allocated to non-public schools within Troy for that same use. Moore said the district will also be applying for an allocation of approximately $18,109 to be used for early childhood special education in the district.

Superintendent Chris Piper then addressed the state report cards that were recently released, which did not have ratings but included data from testing. The state report cards will also be moving from letter grades to a star rating system in the future.

Piper spoke on how the COVID pandemic impacted learning and testing for students, noting how all districts have seen big drops in scores. He added Troy schools still saw students grow and develop in subject areas even if they did not receive proficient scores.

Overall, Piper said, “Our studentd haven’t hit that proficiency bar in high numbers …(but in) most of the subject areas, we did a very nice job growing kids.”

Piper, as well as Troy High School Principal Dave Dilbone, spoke on the professional learning teams the district is having where teachers can communicate with each other and evaluate this data. Board member Doug Trostle mentioned how consolidating the K-5 schools would help allow teachers in those early grades participate in these learning teams more often.

“It’s a challenge because of our small size in some of the buildings,” Piper said.

During a COVID update, Piper said the district has had 25 students test positive for COVID in the last two weeks, with 14 of those students localized to Concord Elementary. Piper said Concord Elementary is following their COVID protocols, so he is unsure of why so many students at that school have tested positive.

Board member Michael Ham asked when the mask mandate might be able to be lifted.

Piper did not give a definite answer, but he said the district was trending in a good direction.

“That’s a conversation that we’ll continue to have, and I think we’ll have recommendations for the board very soon,” Piper said about the mask mandate. He added that COVID vaccines are also available for children between the ages of five and 11 years old now, adding there is not a vaccine mandate for students.

Two parents spoke out against the mask mandate during Monday’s meeting, asking the district to remove it.

“This is not a mask or no mask issue for us. It’s a parental right issue,” Melanie Mergler of Troy said. “It’s not that we have any ill will toward anyone who feels that is something they want to use, but we have sources that we feel are credible sources that show it is not effective … We’re just representing and standing for what we believe in.”

Mergler highlighted how there was a recent outbreak of a stomach illness at Cookson that was able to spread.

“It’s not your job to protect our kids from viruses,” Mergler said.

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