Jun 15, 2020

How PLSD Is Weathering the Financial Storm Due to COVID-19

Financial Update image

Today, I wanted to provide our community with an update on Pickerington Schools and what our district is doing to actively and proactively respond to the current situation with COVID-19.

As you may have heard, the governor announced an immediate $300 million reduction in public school funding across the state. Pickerington Schools’ state formula funding was reduced by $1,725,378 at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. This amounted to approximately 3.2% of our annual state funding.

Let me be clear, this is certainly not the news any of us wanted to hear but we are on strong financial footing to weather this storm. Pickerington Schools has worked diligently for years to steward every dollar of its resources with responsible financial policies, procedures and processes and we are seeing the benefits of that commitment now.

We are doing what we have always done; we are managing and stretching our resources so they have the greatest impact for student achievement. Specifically, we have stopped all non-essential purchases district-wide, frozen department and building budgets and have suspended all planned purchases for the time being. We expect to be able to share the results of our efforts with the community within the next couple of months, showing the calculated savings that these actions produced since these changes were enacted in early April. Finally, we are also discussing additional reductions that may need to be made to achieve the same goals, and we will share those details in the coming months. We are taking steps now to ensure the district spends only what we absolutely have to for the rest of this school year so that we are in an even better position to provide the quality of education our community expects.

The Pickerington Schools Board of Education met on Monday, May 18 and discussed the district’s finances and reviewed a strategic plan to continue our Plan for Progress in the midst of this crisis. At this meeting we shared an updated five-year financial forecast. The immediate reductions in state funding for this fiscal year, combined with our anticipated loss of revenue from future state funding as well as local property and income taxes, has certainly made this forecast more sobering than originally planned.

Our administrative team and the Board of Education will continue our long-term financial and educational planning. Even in normal circumstances, we are constantly seeking solutions to stretch every dollar. We will continue to balance our students’ needs while being extremely mindful of our taxpayer’s situation.

We must exercise fiscal stewardship right now, just as many in our community are having to do, as we head into these uncharted waters. We respect and value the community’s investment in our schools and our students. You can expect to hear more information from us in the coming months about the financial health of Pickerington Schools. We commit to honoring our taxpayers’ investment with our continued fiscal stewardship.

To learn more about the district’s finances, please visit our Finances webpage.

Thank you!
Image of Timothy R. Jenkins signature
Timothy “Ryan” Jenkins,
Pickerington Schools