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Clearview Local School District could Save $888,000
Columbus – Clearview Local School District (Lorain County) spends more than its peers, contributing to large projected deficits. But nearly $888,000 in annual savings could be realized, according to a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Large projected deficits mean large and often difficult changes need to be made,” Auditor Yost said. “Clearview Local School District’s current financial position calls for reduced spending.”
The Ohio Department of Education requested this performance audit after the district’s May 2014 five-year forecast projected deficits of more than $3.4 million by fiscal year (FY) 2017-18. If the district implements all audit recommendations, its projected deficit would instead become a surplus of more than $135,000 by FY 2017-18.
When compared to peers, Clearview Local School District’s student population is 8.5 percent smaller. Another comparison shows that the district receives more local tax dollars than its peers. A final comparison shows that the district outspends its peers by nearly five percent per pupil.
Due to large projected deficits, the district may find it necessary to reduce general education and educational service personnel positions to state minimum requirements. Reducing 12 positions could save the district at least $704,700 per year. Renegotiating its collective bargaining agreement to state minimum levels could also save the district $48,800 annually.
The district staffed 2.3 building and grounds positions above industry benchmarks and national averages during the audit period. Reducing these positions would save approximately $39,500 annually.
A comparison showed that some district employees receive step salary increases that are higher than surrounding districts. The district also gives paid time off to nine and ten month classified employees that work at least 30 hours per week, even though it is not required by state law. Implementing a step freeze and renegotiating to remove additional pay could generate savings of $51,000 per year.
While the district has the ability to adjust temperatures throughout its facilities, the system is not utilized. The district pays more for energy per square foot than its peers. Implementing an energy conservation plan could save the district $43,900 annually.
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 5,800 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.