Sandusky County -
Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the performance audit of the Woodmore Local School District. The audit identified potential savings of more than $1.8 million annually to help the district address its financial condition.
“This performance audit is a valuable resource for Woodmore Local District leaders as they make important decisions about their operations and finances,” Taylor said. “The audit will assist school officials as they work to ensure fiscal stability while continuing to provide important educational services to area children.”
The performance audit was conducted in response to the district’s financial condition. Woodmore Local School District is projected to have a deficit of over $6 million by FY 2012-13, barring any changes in its revenues or expenditures.
The audit examines the district’s financial systems, human resources, facilities and transportation operations. The audit also notes that the district should be commended for its leading practice strategic planning process. The strategic plan committee is made up of local business leaders, district staff and area residents and meets recommended practices in its design and implementation. Also, the district’s facility and maintenance operations use cross-training and job sharing techniques to operate at a high degree of efficiency.
The audit provides a series of options for Woodmore Local School District officials to consider in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Some of the recommendations include:
• Changing the rate of employee contributions to health insurance benefit premiums through negotiations could save $105,000.
A negotiated increase in employee contributions for all staff would reduce the impact of rising health care costs on the district’s general fund.
• Consolidation of bus routes could save $26,000.
Woodmore Local School District should increase the number of riders per bus to 100 students to reduce transportation costs. In fiscal year 2008, the district transported 69.5 students per bus. The district currently maintains a bus ridership level that is 24 percent higher than the peer average.
If it is unable to reduce costs in other areas, Woodmore Local School District may also need to consider recommendations proposing substantial staffing reductions, which, because of the small size of the district, may impact its ability to offer the current range of programs. Recommendations include:
• Reducing the number of teachers could save $1,317,300.
Woodmore Local School District employs more teachers than the state minimum standards. Reducing staffing to more closely reflect state minimum staffing levels will help the district address the projected general fund deficit.
• Reducing the number of education service personnel could save $338,400.
The district employs more education service personnel than the state minimum requirements.
By reducing the number of education service personnel to state minimum staffing requirements, the district would be able to further address its projected deficit.
A performance audit reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of government agency or program operations. This is achieved through comparing and benchmarking the agency or program to similar agencies and relevant standards. The results of a performance audit can be used to improve the effectiveness of operations, save taxpayer dollars and make better use of existing resources.
Since taking office, Taylor has released 62 performance audits outlining more than 2,250 recommendations for improvements. Those recommendations, if fully implemented, could result in potential cost savings and revenue enhancements of more than $110 million annually.
A full copy of the report is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.
The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation. The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364). Since taking office in January 2007, Taylor has identified more than $20.4 million in public funds that were spent illegally and must be repaid.