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Performance Audit Identifies More Than $800,000 in Potential Savings for Ledgemont Local Schools
Columbus – More than $800,000 could immediately be saved by the cash-strapped Ledgemont Local School District (Geauga County) through the implementation of recommendations made in a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Ledgemont Local Schools needs to take action quickly,” Auditor Yost said. “Kicking the can down the road is not an option, and our recommendations provide a significant starting point for the district to make decisions.”
The first six of the 22 recommendations made in the performance audit have been classified as “critical recommendations” due to the district’s dire financial condition and would provide immediate savings. Implementation of the first six recommendations could decrease the district’s projected fiscal year 2017-2018 deficit from $4.5 million to $1.3 million.
The Ledgemont Local School District currently staffs at a higher level than what is required by state law. The performance audit identifies four ways for the district to lower staffing levels to save money, but recommends the district take into consideration its educational needs. By eliminating nine full-time teaching positions, the district could save as much as $432,900.
Currently, the district’s junior/senior high school and elementary school are being utilized at 57.3 and 42 percent of their functional capacities, respectively. By consolidating its buildings and closing the junior/senior high school, the district could save $266,000 annually on building utilities, maintenance, repair costs and staff needed to care for the building.
Adjustments to the district’s health insurance benefits could save approximately $121,500 annually. Decreasing the district’s average sick leave usage to be in line with the averages published by the State of Ohio would save approximately $11,300 in expenditures for substitutes. Reducing food costs by utilizing a purchasing program could save the district an additional $15,400 annually.
The Ledgemont Local School District was placed in fiscal emergency by the Auditor of State’s office on November 9, 2010 due to a significant operating deficit. 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. This performance audit was requested by the Ohio Department of Education.
A full copy of this performance audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.