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Performance Audit of Northwest Local Schools Provides $1.2 Million in Potential Savings
Columbus – As much as $1.2 million in potential savings for the Northwest Local School District (Scioto County) was found in a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. The recommendations for savings range from staff reductions to joining a food purchasing consortium to save $.10 per meal.
“Pay attention to the nickels and dimes, and the dollars will follow,” Auditor Yost said. “Performance audits provide valuable insight to school districts in fiscal distress as they work to balance their books.”
In FY 2011-2012, the district employed 23 more teachers than what is required by Ohio law. By eliminating 10 full-time teacher positions, the district could save $541,000 annually while also keeping a student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1 -- 20 percent above the state minimum requirement. In FY 2012-2013, the district eliminated four teaching positions.
Approximately $210,000 could be saved annually by reducing custodial services. This is achieved through reducing annual hours worked and outsourcing evening and summer custodians. Outsourcing grounds keeping duties could save an additional $25,000 each year.
Increasing the amount of time between classes and adding 15 minutes to the school day would allow the district to eliminate two bus routes and save approximately $99,000 each year. In addition, if the district joined a food purchasing consortium, it could reduce the price of each meal by $.10, saving $22,000 each year.
The Northwest Local School District was placed in fiscal caution by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in August 2012 due to projected deficits in its May 2012 five-year forecast. The district projected a FY 2014-2015 year-end deficit of approximately $246,000. Upon the fiscal caution declaration, ODE asked the Auditor of State’s office to conduct a performance audit of the district.
A full copy of this performance audit may be accessed 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.