Taylor Hosts Community School Training Workshop

Friday, August 15, 2008

Akron, OH -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today hosts the first of two financial training workshops aimed at strengthening fiscal oversight and accountability in the state’s community school system. The workshops are one component of Taylor’s commitment to holding Ohio’s public entities accountable for the tax dollars they spend.

“The Auditor of State’s office stands out as a national leader for the variety of accounting and auditing services we provide to our clients and the taxpayers of Ohio,” Taylor said. “The day-long community school training seminars provide charter school officials with the knowledge they need to help improve the financial management of public tax dollars.”

The Ohio Auditor of State’s 2008 Community School Training workshops are specifically designed for charter school board members, fiscal officers, sponsors, coordinators and employees. Representatives from the Auditor of State’s office will present information on several auditing related topics which include outlining basic audit requirements, combating fraud, identifying public records and tips on completing grant applications.

The workshop takes place at the University of Akron’s Student Union in Akron, Ohio. The Auditor of State’s office is providing an additional workshop on August 19 at the Kings Island Resort Center in Mason, Ohio.

Taylor worked with the state legislature in 2007 to enact a plan to address record keeping deficiencies found in some of the state’s community school districts. The Ohio Department of Education can now withhold state funding if a community school is declared “unauditable.” The Auditor of State’s office declares a public organization unauditable, as a last resort, when administrators fail to submit complete financial statements and other documentation needed to support a routine annual audit.

The measure enacted by the state legislature also prohibits a school’s sponsor from opening any additional community schools while their financial records are considered unauditable. Once the situation is corrected, payments to the school can resume.

Last year, Taylor declared 19 Ohio community schools unauditable for fiscal year 2006. This year, only four charter schools have been declared unauditable for fiscal year 2007.