PCS in 8th year of black

By Amy Barger - abarger@aimmedianetwork.com

Editor’s Note: This is part two of the Piqua City Schools Board of Education meeting that was held on Thursday.

PIQUA — The Piqua City School district is showing high performance in fiscal responsibility in its eighth year in the black, allowing 24 days into the carry-over balance for fiscal year 2015, Treasurer Jeremie Hittle reported at the board of education meeting on Thursday.

“We should be able to maintain our position to stay in the black,” Hittle said. Hittle said expenses have been kept below revenues over the last eight years and saw a two and a half percent increase in income tax revenue, that being “a good sign that we have some growth in the community,” he said.

Hittle presented the fiscal year in review, and reported there is more state funding than local funding for the district. There is a reportedly $2 million decline in property valuations that is a component with the lack of local funding.

As for state aid, PCS will receive a $1 million increase for fiscal year 2016 and a $1.2 million increase for fiscal year 2017 as a result of Gov. John Kasich’s two-year budget. Hittle reported a $100,000 reduction in federal funding due to lack of enrollment.

“As (enrollment) slowly decreases, we slowly see a decrease (in federal funding),” Hittle said. “If it does continue to decline, it will impact us in federal funding. We are trying to turn enrollment around. With the new buildings in place, we are starting to see (change).”

Also discussed in the review is an uptake in spending with supplies, which is attributed to the installment of the new buildings and meeting the demand for new supplies. Payroll is down $80,000 and benefits are being held steady.

Hittle said the goals for the next fiscal review is to monitor payroll and benefit spending, continue negotiated purchased service agreements, and monitor any changes in plans from the local, state, or federal level.

The district is to receive a grant from the Community Connectors program, that strives to connect local businesses and other organizations to provide mentors for school children. The grant PCS will receive will aid grades 5-8, assisting 30 students at each grade level.

The grant proposal was written by Superintendent Rick Hanes. “We are excited about (the program) that provides mentors and good role models that can help (students in need),” Hanes said.

A report on bullying was presented to the board, which stated 22 students reported bullying last year, with four cases deemed as bullying. Assistant Superintendent Dave Larson said that the cases not deemed as bullying were still addressed and administered as appropriate.

Parents and students in the district are encouraged to use the anti-bullying service through Public School Works.

“I think that it’s good for parents to know that (Public School Works) do follow up and contact somebody,” Larson said.

“It’s a great service,” Hanes said.

A shared service agreement has been made with Upper Valley Career Center to share the services of Jennifer Garland, who is the new food service director at PCS and formerly of Upper Valley Career Center. This agreement will allow Garland to provide services on both campuses.

“We think we have a very good agreement – smiling, because Garland has had five to six years experience,” Hanes said. “(The agreement) goes with tri-agency with Edison, Piqua City Schools, and Upper Valley Career Center.”

The board approved of the following agenda items:

  • Hittle and Hanes to enter into various agreements with the Miami County ESC throughout the school year.
  • Board member election in November 2015
  • Project change order to the Piqua Central Intermediate School

By Amy Barger


Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.

Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.