Youngstown schools short by $6M-$8M

Youngstown schools need to borrow more money to stay afloat

YOUNGSTOWN — The city school district’s new treasurer said Youngstown needs to borrow another $6 million to $8 million from the state to avoid a general fund year-end deficit this fiscal year.

William A. Johnson, who took over the treasurer’s post this month, told the school board finance committee today that without additional solvency loan assistance, the district is looking at a $6 million budget deficit as of June 30.

Youngstown, which was placed under fiscal emergency by the state in November 2006, borrowed $15,025,000 from the state in a solvency loan last fiscal year to cover a general fund deficit.

The state set up a Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to oversee all district spending as Youngstown seeks to recover financially.

Johnson told the committee he has begun the process of reapplying for solvency fund assistance, explaining that the state requires school districts to end their fiscal year in the black.

Youngstown is now halfway through this fiscal year and the general fund is showing a $724,000 deficit. That red ink will grow to about $6 million by the end of June unless there is an influx of revenue, Johnson said.

For the complete story, see Wednesday’s Vindicator and