Taylor Releases Performance Audit of Jefferson Township Local School District

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Montgomery County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the performance audit of the Jefferson Township Local School District. The audit outlines several recommendations district officials should consider to further reduce spending and improve efficiency. The recommendations, if fully implemented, could save taxpayers more than $2.4 million annually.

This is the second performance audit of the district since the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) placed it in fiscal caution on May 9, 2003 due to an anticipated general fund deficit of $347,335. Several of the recommendations outlined in the first report, released May 4, 2004, were not implemented and the district remains in fiscal watch. Due to the district’s deteriorating financial condition, ODE requested that the Auditor of State conduct a second performance audit.

“District administrators should use this performance audit as a blueprint to help identify methods to eliminate the conditions that are causing the fiscal watch designation,” Taylor said. “I encourage school administrators to consider the recommendations outlined in this report to achieve financial stability and improve operational efficiencies.”

The report reveals that the district’s student population has dropped 27 percent from fiscal year 1997 through fiscal year 2007. Meanwhile, ODE reports that per pupil spending has increased 78 percent over the same time period.

The performance audit of the Jefferson Township Local School District reviewed financial systems, human resources, facilities and transportation.

The audit identifies two noteworthy practices, which are:

  • Participating in a health insurance consortium that has reduced spending 11.5 percent for health insurance costs when compared to peer school districts
  • Spending 57.7 percent less on fuel than the peer averages by operating a central fuel tank and purchasing bulk amounts

The audit also outlines several recommendations district officials should consider in order to save $2,440,500 annually, which include:

  • Reducing discretionary spending by $897,000 annually
  • Aligning teacher and education service personnel staffing levels closer to state minimums
  • Developing an energy management and conservation policy
  • Implementing and enforcing a detailed sick leave policy

The performance audit indicates that if school officials implement the recommendations outlined in the report, the district could operate with positive fund balances through fiscal year 2012.

Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit is a useful tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make better use of existing resources.

A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.