Ohio Department of Education (ODE) School Foundation Program
The Foundation Program
One of the methods used to pay employer charges is through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) School Foundation Program. Districts that participate in the Foundation Program have their employer contributions paid from Foundation deductions.
Foundation Program deductions are calculated annually.
The process starts in the spring with the submission of a salary estimate. This estimate includes any SERS contributions that will be reported in the upcoming fiscal year. The estimate is entered through eSERS by district staff during a specified window of time. Until this “window” closes, a district can make as many corrections and comments as necessary. If an estimate has not been provided, SERS will calculate an estimate for the district.
The SERS-calculated estimate will take the current year’s estimate and add 3%. SERS will multiply this estimate by the current employer rate, which is 14%, to calculate the estimated annual employer charges.
Adjustments to this estimate can be made throughout the year if sizable differences are an issue. A district representative must contact Employer Services to initiate this process.
Foundation Deduction Letters
Once all of the information is compiled, the deduction is calculated, and SERS uploads the Foundation Deduction Letters onto eSERS. The letters list each item that is being collected through the Foundation deduction. Not every school elects to have the surcharge paid through the Foundation Program.
Once the letters are uploaded, a district will again have an opportunity to make any adjustments before SERS certifies the new annual amounts to the ODE.
If there are insufficient Foundation Program funds available to satisfy the SERS Foundation Program deduction, the employer is responsible for remitting the difference directly to SERS.
Periodic adjustments may be made during the year based on the changing circumstances of each employer. Such adjustments may be initiated by either the employer or SERS.
For more information about the Foundation process, visit the Payments/Foundation and Direct Pay page.