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Performance Audit Identifies $740,000 in Savings for Monroe Local Schools
Columbus – Increasing employee contributions to health care premiums and aligning staffing to peer levels are among as much as $740,000 in potential savings identified for the Monroe Local School District (Butler County) in a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
Monroe LSD was placed into fiscal caution status in October 2011 by the Ohio Department of Education based upon projected deficits. Because the district did not submit acceptable plans to address the deficits, the district was declared in fiscal watch in February 2012 and subsequently in fiscal emergency in May 2012.
The audit made nine financial recommendations and five non-financial management recommendations. The six largest financial recommendations ranged from potential savings of $85,000 to $140,000 annually. They included increasing employee contributions to health care premiums to 15 percent, freezing step increases, reducing staff by 4.4 positions, eliminating two school buses, and either increasing participation fees for athletics or reducing athletic expenditures to peer levels. Total cost savings could be reduced by as much as $40,000 to reflect the cumulative effect of implementing all recommendations, some of which are alternatives.
Non-financial recommendations included developing a comprehensive staffing plan and reassigning some management responsibilities. The district was cited for a noteworthy achievement—the sharing of a business manager with Middletown City School District.
The Auditor of State’s Ohio Performance Team conducts performance audits by request and in cases of fiscal distress of local governments, including Ohio public school districts. The performance audit of the district was requested by the Ohio Department of Education based upon projected deficits in the district’s five-year forecast.
A full copy of the audit may be found online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.