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Audit Lauds Hubbard Schools for Careful Management of Open Enrollment Program
Columbus – The Hubbard Exempted Village School District (Trumbull County) realized a $1 million net gain through the careful management of its open enrollment program, according to a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. The audit identified more than $1.1 million in potential savings.
In fiscal year 2015, the district’s 219 open enrollment students generated $1.2 million in revenue, outpacing $238,000 in costs to teach the students by $1 million. The audit credits the district’s accomplishment, in part, to capacity limits established in district policy.
“Policies are only effective if they’re followed,” Auditor Yost said. “The district has a good game plan in place and sticks to it, and its efforts have paid off with a $1 million boost. Hubbard Schools’ open enrollment practices serve as a model for school districts considering this enrollment option.”
According to the policy, the district determines the amount open enrollment openings based on the “optimum size for a particular program, classroom/school building, or grade level which is the number of students that can be accommodated without increasing the District expenditures for staff or equipment.”
Historically, the district’s average number of open enrollment students per grade has remained less than its overall student-teacher ratio. In 2015, the district had an average of 16.8 open enrollment students per grade, 1.7 students fewer than its 18.5:1 student-teacher ratio. Consequently, the district has accommodated its open enrollment students without incurring additional staff expenditures or requiring extra classrooms.
Among the savings noted in the report, auditors recommended the district consider eliminating General Fund subsidies to extracurricular activities to save approximately $518,000 per year. Implementing a step freeze in certificated salary schedules could save the district another $132,400 in fiscal year 2018 and $62,500 in 2019, for a total of $194,900.
In consultation with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the Auditor’s office initiated a performance audit to help the district improve its financial condition. The district’s May 2016 five-year financial forecast projected a $3 million deficit by fiscal year 2020. If the district implements the performance audit recommendations, it could fully address the projected deficit.
A full copy of this performance audit is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.