Performance Audit of Graham Local Schools Released

More than $1.4 million in savings recommended

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Columbus - More than $1.4 million in potential savings were identified in the performance audit of the Graham Local School District released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. The savings recommended in this performance audit report represent about 7.8% of the district’s fiscal year 2010 actual operating expenditures.

“I am delighted the administration at Graham Local Schools has already implemented many of the recommended savings from this performance audit,” Auditor Yost said. “In times where schools must cope with dwindling dollars, it’s encouraging that the district is being proactive in “skinnying down” operations to ensure its fiscal health for the future.”

In June 2010, the Ohio Department of Education requested that the Auditor of State’s office conduct the performance audit based on the district’s financial condition. In FY 2011, the district projected a deficit of about $721,000 that increased to $7.8 million by the end of the 5-year forecast period. Voters in the district defeated a November 2010 tax ballot issue to increase revenue.

Performance audits are designed to provide cost savings, revenue enhancements, and/or efficiency improvements. During the course of the performance audit of the Graham Local Schools, the scope of work included financial systems, human resources, facilities and transportation.

The audit report outlines four areas where staffing levels could be reduced for total potential savings of $1,351,500. As of March 29, 2011, the district made staffing reductions of $1.6 million, many of which are comparable to those in the audit report, and in some cases, exceeded the recommended levels. In addition to staffing reductions, the audit report suggests the district discontinue paying the employee share of retirement benefits for administrative positions. In doing so, the district could save an additional $56,000. These benefits are not required to be provided by law, and eliminating them could avoid more staffing reductions that directly affect the education of students.

The Graham Local School District, located in Champaign and Shelby Counties, had an enrollment of 2,351 in the 2009-10 fiscal year. The cost of this performance audit was approximately $52,000. Compared to the savings identified in the report, the return on investment of this performance audit is $27.07 for every dollar spent to audit.

A full copy of this performance audit can be found online.

The Auditor of State is one of five independently elected offices under the Ohio Constitution. Auditor Yost’s office is responsible for auditing over 5,600 state and local government agencies. Staff also works in partnership with state and local governments to deal effectively with financial, accounting and budgetary issues.

Carrie Bartunek
Press Secretary
(614) 728-7198