School Finance Newsletter

School Finance Newsletter



Federal QZAB program offers interest-free bonds for qualified programs

Ohio schools meeting certain criteria may apply for an interest-free federal bond for educational purposes of up to $1 million through the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program. The funds may be used to support improvements in facilities, but not new construction. In addition, the funds may support curriculum and instruction initiatives including teacher and staff training, the development of course materials and equipment purchases.

Eligible schools must be located in an enterprise community or empowerment zone, or have 35 percent of their students eligible for free or reduced-cost meals through the National School Lunch program. In addition, a qualified school must have a partnership with a business that contributes at least 10 percent of the bond through cash or in-kind services.

Interested schools are to submit bond applications to the department as early as possible this fall to take advantage of the 2013 bonding authority remaining. Find more information and the application on the department's website.

Here’s how to handle Bureau of Worker Compensation rebates

In May, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) authorized rebates for entities paying into the worker’s compensation system for the 2011 policy year. The bureau began mailing rebate checks to employers in late June and recently completed its distribution. The Auditor of State's Bulletin contains instructions on where the funds should be deposited.

Because there were no supplant prohibitions for ED Jobs and State Foundation Stabilization Fund (SFSF) dollars, any portion of the rebate attributable to these grants can be receipted into the general fund without restrictions.  If part of the rebate is attributable to staff paid with auxiliary services funds, districts should receipt that portion of the rebate into the current year’s auxiliary services fund (401) and allow the nonpublic school to use the money this fiscal year. This year’s SF-230 module will have a new line for “miscellaneous receipts,” which should be used to report the rebate to the state.