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$858,900 in Potential Savings Identified at Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District
Columbus - More than $850,000 in potential savings were identified in a performance audit of the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District (Tuscarawas County) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away,” Auditor Yost said. “Now is the time for the district to take action and do what it takes to shore up its fiscal house.”
The Ohio Department of Education requested a performance audit due to the district's declining fiscal stability identified in its October 2014 five-year forecast. However, auditors determined the district’s November 2014 financial forecast required a significant revision due to a food service fund deficit. Since FY 2000-01, the district has been cited in its annual financial audit for a negative fund balance that grew to more than $599,000 by FY 2013-14.
The performance audit recommends the district comply with the Ohio Revised Code and transfer funds from the general fund to cover the food service fund deficit. The district also could save $36,100 each year by reducing food and supply costs to USDA benchmarks. In doing so, the district could eliminate its yearly operating deficit in the food service fund. In addition, the district should make certain all the data reported for food service student participation is accurate to ensure the district receives proper reimbursement for its participation in the Community Eligibility Program. To prevent potential theft and waste, the district also should implement internal controls over the use of its vendors and food inventory.
The audit report recommended the district eliminate 7.5 full-time general education teacher positions to save $275,500 each year. Eliminating 1.5 full-time educational service personnel positions could save an additional $129,300 in salaries and benefits annually. Increasing employee insurance contributions could save the district approximately $211,100 annually. The district also could save $195,600 per year by closing East Elementary School (grades K-1).
If the district implements the recommendations within the performance audit, it could eliminate the adjusted FY 2018-19 deficit of more than $2 million and generate a surplus exceeding $1.3 million.
A full copy of this report 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.