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Brookfield Local School District Released from Fiscal Emergency
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today announced that the Brookfield Local School District (Trumbull County) has achieved financial stability after spending almost five years in fiscal emergency.
The announcement comes more than 12 years after a general fund deficit landed the district in a state of fiscal caution in 2005. District officials repeatedly failed to propose a financial recovery plan to address the deficit, leading to declarations of fiscal watch in March 2006 and fiscal emergency in May 2013.
Faced with a deficit of more than $1 million in 2013, the district has since cut spending by roughly $1.5 million through reductions in staffing and purchased services. Steps taken to refinance bonded debt are expected to save the district and its taxpayers another $2 million in its bond retirement fund.
“No school district overcomes more than a decade of financial hardships without steadfast support from the community,” Auditor Yost said. “District officials, employees, students and taxpayers should all take pride in this accomplishment.”
Just a week before the fiscal emergency declaration, voters passed a continuing levy that generated an additional $618,000 for the district by the end of fiscal year 2014.
The district of 1,034 students also had to satisfy the following requirements to be released from fiscal emergency:
- Effectively implement a financial accounting and reporting system in accordance with Section 118.10(A) of the Ohio Revised Code;
- Correct or eliminate all fiscal emergency conditions and prevent new ones from occurring;
- Meet the objectives of the financial plan; and
- Prepare a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State; the opinion expressed by the Auditor’s office is “nonadverse.”
A special report released by Auditor Yost in March details the experiences of local governments in fiscal emergency and the steps they took to regain financial stability.
A full copy of this fiscal emergency termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.