Educational Articles

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees overtime for hours over forty in a week unless there is an exception to the rule. An exemption applicable to non-teaching administrative employees is called the EAP exception (executive, administrative, and professional). The employee’s salary and duties are compared to the U.S. Department of Labor standard (DOL) (using the “salary and duties” tests) to determine whether they are exempt executive, administrative, or professional positions and therefore not eligible for overtime under the law. The basic framework requires an employee to be paid a salary in an amount at least equal to the amount ...
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by Senior Manager Jeremy Buskirk and Director Matt Bubness, Baker Tilly As another fiscal year and budget process ends, you may be breathing a sigh of relief. This is well deserved. At the same time, this is the time to consider how to improve the budget process for next year and beyond. Now could be the best time to do an assessment of the process by considering it from your perspective as treasurer/CFO as well as polling colleagues to see what worked well and what didn’t. Then, you can begin planning improvements for next year. While taking time to evaluate the process is certainly a time commitment, it may help in ways beyond building a better budget ...
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By Ernie Strawser and Meghan Homsher, Frontline Senior Analytics Advisors Overview : This article discusses the issues below and does a deeper dive into the student demographics and funding formula. • Percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students Increased Statewide • Ohio’s Calculated K12 Poverty Funding Decreased • Some Districts Gained Poverty Revenue and Other Districts Lost Revenue • Children’s Health Insurance Program Enrollment Recently Declined • Economic Disadvantage Ratio Squared Are there winners & losers? The economic disadvantaged revenue landscape changed dramatically in FY 2024 with a 9.6% ...
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By Doug Trimbach, Vice President of Energy Optimizers, USA Photosensitivity is an increased sensitivity to light, and it can lead to discomfort or adverse reactions, particularly for children with special needs. Recognizing and managing photosensitivity is important for creating an accessible learning environment for students, and it can result in a space with fewer behavioral incidents. The causes of photosensitivity vary, such as certain medical conditions, medications, or specific neurological disorders. It can lead to discomfort, visual disturbances, headaches, decreased ability to focus, or even seizures in some students. Children with Autism ...
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by Meghan Homsher and Ernie Strawser State Funding Trends Property values have significant influence over your per-pupil state funding. With the recent rise in property values, many districts are experiencing noticeable change in their state funding revenue forecast. In many cases, the change is unfavorable. When reviewing the impact of values on FSFP funding, consider that higher values can reduce your state share of per pupil funding. In this example, by FY 2028 the district is trending toward a per pupil state funding loss of about $300. Property values could be a leading indicator of the district’s future state funding results. Know Your ...
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The State Employment Relations Board (SERB) Wage Settlement Report for 2023 was released recently. This report analyzes collective bargaining agreements entered into in calendar year 2023 and provides employers with useful data on the average wage agreements, which can be reviewed by areas of the state, type of employer and employment, and more. Focusing only on teaching contracts entered into in 2023, the SERB data reveals the average wage increase was 3.24% statewide in year one of the contract. This average was drawn from 141 teaching contracts entered into in 2023. Over the entire period of the contract, the average teacher wage increase is ...
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In many districts, general revenue fund cash balances serve as a safeguard against budgetary uncertainties and allow districts to address various financial exigencies. Recently, our associations have observed a heightened level of scrutiny regarding district general reserve fund cash balances, with some viewing cash reserves as indications of overtaxation or inefficient use of public funds. In light of this, we wanted to remind districts of the resources that are available to help determine these balances, transparently explain the rationale behind reserve levels, and foster trust and confidence in financial decision-making processes. Review the cash ...
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Good luck with that! Because there are many variables associated with a municipal bond issue, achieving “the best” rate is challenging. All too often, the demands on school treasurers such as payroll, budgets, forecasts, routine accounting, monthly reporting, and annual audits make bond issues just “one more thing” to do. However, there are steps a school CFO can take to ensure a successful bond issue that results in a competitive interest rate. Next to funding the annual operating budget for an Ohio school district, the biggest single expenditure taxpayers are asked to bear is repaying a bond issue for building projects. Currently, due to higher interest ...
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Safety first should always be the mantra for any organization. An effective housekeeping program is as important as any other safety program and provides a great culture for employees. To avoid injuries caused by poor housekeeping practices, the workplace must be maintained in order throughout the day. Discuss with employees how effective housekeeping procedures reduce the risk of accidents. Stress that housekeeping should not be a one-time event but an ongoing process with repetition a key to success. Regardless of what business operations occur at your organization, implementing a housekeeping plan has many benefits, including: • Fewer slips, ...
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School treasurers and business officials play a crucial role in managing the financial affairs of educational institutions. One key aspect of their responsibilities involves reviewing school district contracts for goods and services. Understanding the intricacies of contract negotiation and drafting is essential to safeguard the district’s interests and ensure smooth operations. Here are some vital elements school officials need to consider when navigating contracts: Clear Identification of Parties : The foundation of any contract lies in the clear identification of the parties involved. School treasurers and business officials must ensure that ...
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Contrary to popular thought, the Treasurer/CFO of a school district is not the sole owner of the district’s budget, nor should they be. But, as Treasurer/CFOs, we are the compiler. We should certainly understand the budget so that we can speak to it if asked by community members. So, who should we include in the budget process? The answer to that question is simple: all administrators from the superintendent to the operation department supervisors. Starting at the cabinet level is always a good practice. Cabinet or district Leadership team meetings are typically held once per week. Asking this team for any significant upcoming expenditures will help ...
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The Ohio legislature’s override of House Bill 68 comes after nearly two years of debate about how to handle mental health, healthcare, and athletics for transgender youth. School districts and higher education institutions should take proactive steps to understand the new laws and their implications. Mental Health and Healthcare House Bill 68 prohibits a “mental health professional” [1] from diagnosing or treating a minor “who presents…a gender-related condition” without first obtaining parental consent. [2] The mental health professional must also screen for “other comorbidities” (e.g., depression, autism) and “traumas” (e.g., physical, sexual, ...
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The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division finalized a new rule that adopts an economic reality test that includes six distinct factors to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule will go into effect on March 11, 2024. It is particularly important for school districts that may consider or treat certain types of workers as independent contractors when they may be employees under the new rule. In January 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division updated Fact Sheet 13 to reflect the changes outlined in the new rule. Fact Sheet 13 is linked here . Fact ...
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It is that time of year again…..cold weather is upon us! Unfortunately, the cold weather brings hazardous conditions such as snow, ice, reduced visibility, and slippery roads. Whether you’re going to work, heading to the store or visiting family, it is important to stay focused on the road conditions before and during your drive. Icy roads, strong winds and wet conditions contribute to thousands of crashes a year and sometimes results in fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the US in 2021 there were 395 fatal crashes and an estimated 22,325 injury crashes that occurred as a result of snow and sleet conditions ...
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Click here to read Emily's previous article, "Title IX and Transgender Accommodations: Where Do Things Stand Now? What is Title IX?" FACT: Title IX is a federal law that applies to every school in the country that receives any federal funding. Title IX prohibits discrimination or harassment based on sex. Violations of Title IX can result in the loss of all of the school/district’s federal funding. Who can change Title IX? FACT: Local school boards have no power to change Title IX or any other federal law, nor to make sweeping changes on any legal topic. Local school boards control only their districts, within the constraints ...
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Take the First Step Toward Protecting Indoor Air Quality to Save on Energy and Solve Comfort Issues Winter is on its way, and with it comes complaints of hot or cold spots in buildings or people feeling ill due to dry, irritated throats. Often, the reason for these complaints is undetected air leakage in your building envelope. The building envelope plays a significant role in influencing indoor air quality (IAQ) by controlling the infiltration of outdoor air pollutants, moisture, and other contaminants into a building while also affecting the ventilation and overall thermal comfort of the indoor environment. Here are some ways in which the building envelope ...
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Recently, OASBO printed checks. We dropped all the checks in a USPS blue box outside of the post office. The next week, I noted the bank made a check reversal on our account. I investigated the original check and discovered it was altered. Fortunately, I submitted a positive pay file to the bank when I printed those checks. The bank reversed the check because the check payee did not match the file I uploaded. Our positive pay system prevented a loss. Check theft is a serious financial threat that individuals and businesses should be vigilant about. The best way to avoid mail theft is to not send a check. I strongly encourage your organization to authorize ...
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Over the last few years, schools have seen ongoing changes in the federal government’s expectations for the accommodation of transgender students. During the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Education (“USDOE”) put out guidance interpreting Title IX to protect against discrimination based on gender identity. The Trump administration repealed that guidance. In June 2022, the Biden administration attempted to reinstate the guidance. Meanwhile, courts across the country have been weighing in on protections for transgender students. Now, the State Board of Education in Ohio has joined the debate. Below is a discussion of where exactly the law stands ...
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On December 13, 2022, Governor DeWine signed into law Ohio Senate Bill 56, entitled, “Regulate indemnity clause - certain professional design contracts.” The law went into effect just a few weeks ago, on March 14, 2023. The new law is codified in Ohio Rev. Code Ann. Section 153.81. Major provisions of the new law, applicable to Ohio public schools, include the following: If a professional design firm provides work, services, studies, planning, surveys, or preparatory work in connection with a public improvement, a public authority may require, via a provision in a public improvement contract or subcontract, that the professional design firm indemnify the ...
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Jones v. Kent City School Dist. Bd. of Edn., 2023-Ohio-265 The Eleventh District Court of Appeals of Ohio (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Trumbull) reversed a trial court’s decision affirming a board of education’s decision to nonrenew a teacher. During the 2019-20 school year, the teacher had several instances of misconduct that resulted in a three-day suspension. Later that same school year, the teacher failed to report to work and did not follow the proper protocols for entering an absence, resulting in students being unsupervised. The teacher was told he would be placed on a full evaluation cycle and was likely to be non-renewed. An in-person ...