Performance Audit Recommends $4.6 Million In Savings For Delaware City School District
Columbus – The Delaware City School District (Delaware County) could save nearly $4.6 million based on recommendations of a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
The audit notes that the district is faced with stagnant revenue growth and growing expenditures. Without additional budget-balancing measures, the most recent projection shows that the district faces a nearly $3.6 million deficit in fiscal year 2019, growing to slightly more than $18 million in fiscal year 2021.
“The Delaware City School District faces adverse fiscal circumstances,” Auditor Yost said. “Difficult decisions will be required to balance the books. But other school districts have overcome similar challenges and there is no reason why Delaware can’t do the same.”
District officials worked cooperatively with state auditors and already have taken steps to overhaul the district’s system for purchasing building operation and maintenance supplies, an audit recommendation projected to save the district more than $98,000.
In other measures to address projected deficits, the performance audit recommends that the district eliminate the equivalent of 16 full-time positions, including library staff, remedial specialists, counselors and others, for a savings of more than $1.3 million.
Ending the general fund subsidy for extracurricular activities could save slightly more than $1 million. The audit notes that this could be accomplished by:
- Increasing pay to participate fees for sports
- Increasing admissions and sales
- Increasing booster club funding
- Reducing the supplemental salaries paid to staff who supervise extracurricular activities
- Eliminating programs
The district also could pare almost $700,000 from its budget by moving all employees into a high-deductible health plan coupled with a health-savings account, and requiring all employees to pay 20 percent of their health-insurance premiums.
Closing Willis Education Center or repurposing it in a way that would make it self-supporting could save the district nearly $364,000. District administrators have proposed leasing space in the building to cover the cost of operating it.
These measures and others recommended in the audit still would leave the district with a projected deficit of nearly $1.1 million annually. To eliminate this shortfall, the audit offers three options, each of which could eliminate the deficit, or that could be combined in part to do so. The options are:
- Cut 20 general education teacher positions
- Adopt an across-the-board 6.5 percent staffing reduction
- Freeze base salaries and step increases for two years
Adoption of the audit recommendations, or comparable steps undertaken by district administrators, would ensure a positive general fund balance through fiscal year 2021.
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 5,900 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.