Taylor Releases Performance Audit of Cincinnati City School District

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cincinnati -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the performance audit of the Cincinnati City School District. The audit outlines several recommendations that, if fully implemented, could save the district almost $2 million annually.

“Our performance audit section helps provide state and local government entities, such as the Cincinnati City School District, with ways to improve operations and reduce costs and I am pleased to offer this valuable service,” Taylor said. “School administrators are taking steps to reduce the district’s financial burden but additional opportunities for cost savings exist. I encourage school officials to consider the recommendations outlined in this report and continue to work toward achieving financial stability.”

A five-year forecast of district finances, developed in October 2007, revealed a potential $72 million deficit for the current school year with potential growth to $350 million by 2013. Since October 2007, the district passed a property tax levy that will generate more than $51 million annually starting in January 2009.

Cincinnati City Schools qualified for a state-funded performance audit as a result of the district’s financial distress.

The performance audit of the Cincinnati City School District reviewed finance and strategic management, human resources, facilities and transportation. The report identifies certain noteworthy practices, which include:

  • The treasurer’s detailed system of calculating and forecasting district finances
  • Maintaining low Bureau of Workers’ Compensation costs
  • Conducting an annual transportation survey to improve efficiency and rein in unnecessary spending

The audit also outlines several recommendations district officials should consider in order to save $1,947,550 annually, which include:

  • Aligning wages and salaries of new employees with urban peer averages
  • Selling vacant and unused properties to reduce costs and enhance revenues
  • Considering changes to transportation service levels
  • Identifying and eliminating sick leave abuse patterns to help reduce costs

Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit is a valuable tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make better use of existing resources.

A copy of the complete audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2008/Cincinnati_CSD_08_Performance-Hamilton.pdf.