Financial forecast shows deficit spending, student experience funds created

by Laura Bednar

Nordonia Hills Schools Treasurer Kyle Kiffer presented the five-year forecast of the district’s finances from 2024-2028. The forecast is required biannually per the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce.

Projected revenue for 2025 is $58.7 million, which falls to $57.3 million by 2028. Deficit spending was projected in each of the five years of the forecast.

District revenue comes from property taxes, state funding and other sources such as the MGM tax settlement, kindergarten tuition and pay-to-play fees. Board member Matt Kearney said the Financial Activities Communications Team is reviewing how the district can reduce athletic and other participation fees.

General property tax accounts for the largest amount of revenue, and Kiffer’s projections show other revenue sources decreasing over time.

Personnel costs, including salaries and benefits, are the largest expense for the district. Expenditures are projected to grow from $58.9 million in 2025 to $66.4 million by 2028. The forecast also reads, “There will be a 6.48% medical insurance increase in fiscal year 2025.”

Purchased services, which include utilities, transportation contracts, school resource officers and legal services, are expected to grow annually at 4.76% through fiscal year 2028.

“Just like our personal finances at home, everything seems to be increasing,” said Kiffer.

Money spent for capital projects is expected to double in fiscal year 2027 to $1 million. Kiffer said the district will receive $2.4 million of the MGM settlement next year. After the settlement money dries up, he said the fund amount will be uncertain.

Also noted was how many days the district could operate based on its available cash on hand, if there was no incoming revenue. The forecast showed 95 operating days in 2025, falling to 22 days in 2027 and negative 30 days by 2028.

Projected K-12 enrollment is 3,207 in 2025, falling slightly to 3,098 by 2028. In fiscal year 2024, Kiffer said the daily cost per pupil is $100.

New funds

Board President Chad Lahrmer said the Nordonia Schools Foundation created two new funds. The first is a local experience fund to help students with the cost of travel to local educational experiences such as Cedar Point’s physics day, Playhouse Square field trips, artistic opportunities and more.

The other fund is a “traveling Knights fund,” which helps cover costs for overnight travel, such as band camp and the eighth-grade trip to Washington D.C. Students can apply for either fund through the foundation and guidance counselors or administrators can direct students to an online application.

Student CVCC winners

Thirty-six Nordonia students made it through the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center regional competitions to qualify for states and 18 of them were state champions, earning a first-place finish in their category.

The 18 students winners were: Brennan Barber in computer networking, Christopher Bork in computer networking, Alexandra Elsbury in construction trades, Addison Francis in digital design, Ben Hersh in machine technology II, Jordan Houlahan in digital design and fundamental desktop publishing, Greg Janvier in programming and software development, Luke Jones in computer networking academy, Dallas Maynard in machine technology II, Kaleb Rayle in programming and software development, John Shubert in computer networking, Kierstyn Travers in sales and service, Grace Anderson in digital design, Jenna Shriver in health careers, Mackenzie Thompson in health careers, Lauren Torain in dental assisting II, Ryan Toth in fire and EMS academy and Justin Zambach in fire and EMS academy. ∞