Taylor Releases Performance Audit of Springfield City School District

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Clark County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the performance audit of the Springfield City School District. The audit outlines steps the district has taken to reduce costs and makes additional recommendations that could save taxpayers more than $1.5 million annually.

“The purpose of this audit is to assist Springfield City School officials and the state Financial Planning and Supervision Commission in their ongoing efforts to improve operations and cut costs,” Taylor said. “District administrators requested the performance audit as a way to assess their progress and to seek additional recommendations as they continue to work toward financial stability. School officials have taken a proactive approach toward improving financial accountability and their actions should be commended.”

The performance audit of Springfield City Schools reviewed staffing and salaries, student data management, building utilization, energy management and food service operations. District officials should consider the following recommendations to generate an average annual net savings of about $1.4 million annually through the forecast period:

  • Benchmarking staffing levels to peer district averages and realigning staffing to student population
  • Improving building utilization rates to levels similar to industry benchmarks
  • Selling unused food service equipment to help eliminate an operating deficit in the food services fund
  • Continuing to implement recommendations outlined in the district’s last two performance audits the Auditor of State has conducted for the district

This is the third performance audit of Springfield City Schools conducted and released by the Auditor of State’s office. The first report, released on April 15, 1998, was part of an urban initiative package passed by the state legislature. This initiative provided funding for performance audits of the state’s 21 largest urban school districts.

In 2005, the district projected a deficit of $7,554,000 and automatically qualified for a second state-funded performance audit after it was placed in fiscal watch on November 29, 2004. The district was subsequently placed in fiscal emergency on February 28, 2005 and a Financial Planning and Supervision Commission was appointed.

In December 2007, school officials asked the Auditor of State’s office to conduct a third performance audit as part of their ongoing efforts to reduce costs, improve efficiency and eliminate the remaining fiscal emergency conditions.

Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit can be 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.