Southern Local School District could Eliminate Deficit Threat

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Columbus – Southern Local School District (Perry County) could turn a projected $730,000 deficit into a $1.4 million surplus by implementing performance audit recommendations released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

Southern Local School District was placed in fiscal caution on April 11, 2011. The Ohio Department of Education requested this performance audit after the district’s October 2013 five-year forecast projected a deficit of $972,000 by fiscal year 2017-18. The district reduced two full-time positions during the audit, reducing its projected deficit to $733,987. 

In order to eliminate its projected deficit, Southern Local Schools should consider a reduction in staffing. Eliminating nine general education positions would save $514,000 annually. The district currently employs more clerical staff than its peers and could save $11,600 per year by eliminating 0.5 positions.

The district’s health insurance premiums are currently 17% more expensive than surrounding public entities and district employees contribute less than the regional average toward their health insurance. Purchasing insurance through a consortium or enrolling into a High Deductible Health Insurance Plan, and increasing employee contributions to the regional average could save $212,500 annually.

Finally, the audit identified that Southern Local Schools does not claim the Motor Fuel Tax Refund afforded to all local governments. Applying for this refund could save the district approximately $1,200 per year.

A full copy of this performance audit is available here.


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.

Carrie Bartunek
Press Secretary