Columbus- No new taxes were levied to bring the Springfield Local School District back to fiscal health. Auditor of State Dave Yost today officially released the district from its fiscal emergency status.
“The Springfield Local School District worked diligently and made the tough choices necessary to bring it to where it is today,” Auditor Yost said. “I am pleased to release the district from fiscal emergency and look forward to hearing more good things from the district.”
The Springfield Local School District was placed into fiscal caution on October 18, 2006 by the Ohio Department of Education due to anticipated deficits for fiscal years 2007 and 2008. Through a request from the Ohio Department of Education, the district was placed into fiscal watch on February 8, 2007. This was due to the district’s failure to submit an acceptable proposal to eliminate the anticipated deficits while under fiscal caution, in addition to forecasted deficits of $1.9 million for 2007 and $4.7 million for 2008. Fiscal emergency was declared on May 16, 2007 when the district was unable to submit an acceptable financial recovery plan to eliminate the deficits.
Many recommendations from a 2007 performance audit of the district were carried out, and in some instances reductions exceeded recommendations. As part of their efforts to eliminate the conditions for fiscal emergency, the Springfield Local School District made staff reductions of approximately 160 through reductions in force and retirements over several years. Annual savings for the district from the reductions total approximately $4,047,000. The district also closed two elementary schools, adding annual utility savings of $310,000. Overall, the district reduced general fund expenditures from FY 2007 to FY 2011 by $6,619,000.
The district also received $1,912,000 in State Solvency Assistance funds in FY 2007. All advances have been repaid.
To be terminated from fiscal emergency, the Springfield Local School district met the following criteria:
• Adopted and implemented an effective financial accounting and reporting system;
• Corrected or eliminated all of the fiscal emergency conditions, no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that, based on the five-year forecast, the Springfield Local School District will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period;
• Met the major objectives of the financial recovery plan; and
• Prepared a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 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.