Oxford schools project no deficit over five years

20 positions reduced across the district
By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
OXFORD TWP. — During the regular meeting on May 28, interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Markavich gave an update on the five-year projected budget to the Oxford Community Schools Board of Education.
Previously, the district had forecast a cumulative deficit of over $5 million over the next five years. During the meeting, Markavich reported that there will not be a cumulative deficit.
“By January 2024, that projection went down to $5 million, and now the projection I’m bringing you is balanced, though I caution, barely balanced,” she said.
The reason for the deficit was a number of one-time grants that the district received, which were spent on ongoing expenses.
“COVID happened, and then after COVID there was a lot of one-time-only money that came to school districts, ours as well as others, that was designed to put people in place to help kids catch up with their academics and those people of course are ongoing costs that were paid for when the grant was there with one-time money. And then the one-time money sunsets and you still have the people,” she said. “For Oxford, that same thing was true after the tragedy. We received recovery money for the tragedy, and we put a lot of interventions in place under the safety and mental health arenas, and those interventions weren’t just programs and equipment. A lot of those interventions were people in the areas of safety and mental health. We basically hired some ongoing costs with one-time money. When you do that, budget deficits are going to develop because you begin spending more than you take in on an annual basis as you are spending down that one-time money.”
To bring the deficit down, 20 positions were reduced across the district, and the facilities plan budget was lowered from $1.3 million per year to $500,000 per year.
“That is barely enough and many not always be enough to handle your routine maintenance and then any kind of emergency or urgent thing that might come up,” she said.
The cumulative excess over the next five years is projected to be $330,989. There is no unrestricted surplus anticipated for financial year 2024, $106,715 for 2025, $61,316 for 2026, and $209,883 for 2028.
There is still a projected deficit of $49,925 for the financial year ending in 2027.

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