Superintendent's Message

 May 2018

In this fiscal year 2017-18, we have been challenged with expenditures increasing faster than our expected revenue, causing a projected gap of near $1 million this year. Our cash position is strong (about $9 million), but will steadily erode over the next several years  - if our expenditures continue to outpace our revenue like they are now. 

The front-end costs of adding 200+ new students over the last two years  in terms of staffing and addressing  special needs has increased our costs at a faster rate than our revenue flow (property taxes, earned income, state and federal aid) - for these sources, the inflow is often a year in arrears. We are working on ways to “right size” our operation, while embracing the costs that come with the growth. Right sizing involves both personnel costs as well as program alterations. Despite cutting $1 million for next year, class sizes will not be impacted starting in January 2018.

The need for cuts this drastic did catch us by surprise, but we believe our incremental approach in addressing the issue head-on will allow for revenue streams to match the expense side in the future. It’s also important to note when making cuts of this magnitude and as we right-size, the changes will be felt at times. 

There are some changes that will benefit the district in the future—possibly increasing revenue and decreasing expenditures.  These beneficial changes include: the State’s changes to the College Credit Plus program (legislation that prevents overlap between CCP and Advanced Placement classes), the sale of the former Hooven Elementary School property, and the new residential developments. 

We are hopeful that these reductions, as well as increased in income, will get the district out of deficit spending, sooner rather than later. Our goal with the expenditure adjustments for the 2018-19 school year was to keep the cuts as far away from the students and possible - thus, the cuts made for this coming year will not directly impact day to day academics/extracurricular activities.

John C. Hamstra
Southwest Local Schools 

Please click here for the most recent edition of "Spotlight on Southwest," a monthly publication for the parents/guardians and local residents sharing good news and updates about our students, staff and the Southwest Local School District:

John Hamstra Superintendent


John Hamstra     Superintendent
Corinne Hayes Assistant Superintendent
Corinne Hayes     Assistant Superintendent