Columbus – The Cloverleaf Local School District is in a state of fiscal emergency, declared today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. The action came at the request of the school district, which will now be placed under the supervision of a state commission.
“The Cloverleaf Local School District has some difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks and months,” Auditor Yost said. “My office is ready to work with school officials and the commission to bring financial stability back to this struggling district.”
The Ohio Department of Education placed the district in fiscal caution on December 31, 2003 based on anticipated deficits for fiscal years ending June 30, 2004 and 2005. The district was placed in fiscal watch by the Auditor of State’s office on March 30, 2004 due to the district’s failure to submit a written proposal for eliminating the anticipated deficits.
Each year that a school district is in fiscal watch, the Ohio Department of Education requires the district to submit an updated financial plan for approval. For each fiscal year 2005 through 2011, the Ohio Department of Education has accepted the District’s submission. On November 29, 2011, the Cloverleaf Local School District school board passed a resolution stating the district was unable to adopt a plan to eliminate the projected current year deficit for fiscal year 2012 and requested that the Auditor of State’s office declare the district in fiscal emergency.
A Financial Planning and Supervision Committee will now be created to assume all or part of the powers of the board of education. Three members of this commission must be appointed within 15 days of this declaration of fiscal emergency. A financial plan must be developed by the commission within 120 days of the first meeting of the commission to address the district’s financial crisis.
The Auditor of State’s office takes an advisory role to the commission and may provide accounting training and assistance. A performance audit of the district was conducted in 2004. Recently, the Ohio Department of Education requested a follow-up review, which the Auditor of State’s office will conduct.
A 6.5-mill emergency operating levy was brought to the district’s voters in November 2011, but failed to pass.
A full copy of this fiscal emergency declaration can be found online.
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.