Taylor Releases Audit of Northridge LSD

More than $100,000 in questioned costs referred to Ohio Department of Education

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Columbus -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the annual audit of Northridge Local School District (Licking County) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006. The audit questions the spending of $111,090 in federal grant money given to the district by the U.S. Department of Education for special education purposes.

“Federal grants are an effective way for school districts to provide important programming to students,” Taylor said. “It is crucial that this money is properly accounted for to ensure the future security of those grant dollars.”

The special education grant requires that the money only be spent to provide educational services for children with disabilities. On August 10, 2005, the district transferred $111,090 of its special education grant money to the Licking County Educational Service Center (ESC). The Licking County ESC, however, did not provide a detailed invoice to support the transfer of funds so the entire amount of the transfer is in question.

Specifically, from July, 2005 to October, 2006, the ESC paid vendors on behalf of Northridge Schools for items including refinishing the district’s gym floors, painting the gymnasium, purchasing a keyless security system, developing the district’s website, and various travel expenses. None of the invoices indicated the items purchased were used to provide special education activities. The audit does not allege that the funds were spent illegally; however, no documentation was maintained by the school district that would indicate the funds were used for special education purposes.

Auditors recommend the district maintain proper documentation to support purchases made with federal grant money and that all purchases be approved by the board of education. Taylor’s office has forwarded the matter to the Ohio Department of Education for review.

District officials have taken steps to address this matter, indicating that they will require detailed invoices from the ESC for all special education purchases. The district will also seek the approval of the district’s special education coordinator for those purchases, and the treasurer will keep all supporting documentation.

A copy of the full audit is available online at