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Canton City School District Could Save More than $2.6 Million
Columbus – More than $2.6 million in potential savings were identified in a performance audit of the Canton City School District (Stark County) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
In consultation with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and at the request of the school district, the Auditor’s office initiated a performance audit to help the district improve its financial condition. The district’s October 2014 financial forecast projected an accumulated deficit exceeding $10.5 million. Additionally, ODE placed the district in fiscal caution on March 22, 2007, and its status remains unchanged to date.
According to the report, the district could save $144,000 per year by removing four active buses from its fleet. It also could generate $7,000 in one-time revenue from the sale of all four buses. An additional $506,100 in annual savings could be achieved if the district aligns its dental and vision insurance employer costs with the average set by other Stark County governments.
The report notes that district buildings are significantly underused as a whole, yet the district has made progress over the past several years in shrinking its building footprint. If the district phases out at least seven buildings over the next four years, it could save an average of $314,150 each year for a total of $1,256,600 after four years. During the course of the audit, the district closed Fairmount Elementary School.
The district could save an additional $933,200 per year by eliminating 22.5 full-time office/clerical positions. Reducing severance payouts could save another $151,700 annually.
During the course of the audit, the district released its May 2016 financial forecast, which projected a greatly improved financial condition.
“It takes proactive leadership to weather a financial storm,” Auditor Yost said. “Thanks to years of persistence, Canton City Schools officials have returned the district to sunny skies, and I applaud them for their success.”
The district no longer projects any year-end deficits in the forecast period, and its accumulated fund balance in FY 2019-20 totals more than $35 million. If the district implements the recommendations within the performance audit, it could increase that amount to a surplus of more than $43.5 million.
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.
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