Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost released the Beaver Local School District (Columbiana County) from fiscal emergency today, a status they held since February of 2010.
“This is a proud day for Beaver Local Schools,” Auditor Yost said. “Making the decisions necessary to get to this day is never easy, but the district is financially healthier for it.”
The Beaver Local School District was placed into fiscal caution by the Ohio Department of Education on April 24, 2009 due to projected deficits for fiscal year 2009. The Auditor of State declared the district in fiscal watch on September 10, 2009 for two reasons: 1) their failure to submit a written proposal for eliminating the anticipated deficits that prompted the declaration of fiscal caution, and 2) forecasted deficits of $555,000 for fiscal year 2009 and $819,000 for fiscal year 2010. Fiscal emergency was declared on February 11, 2010, because the district failed to submit an acceptable recovery plan to the Ohio Department of Education within 120 days of the fiscal watch declaration.
The district took a number of different actions to eliminate their fiscal emergency status, with total estimated annual savings of more than $1.15 million. Staff reductions of approximately 15 positions through reductions in force and non-replacement of retirements added up to $711,000 in annual savings. Changes in the teacher contract such as wage freezes and contract concessions save $313,000 annually. By eliminating the benefits consultant, the district is saving $16,000 annually.
The district received $889,000 in state solvency assistance funds in FY 2010 and expects to have the advances repaid in FY 2012.
To be terminated from fiscal emergency, the Beaver Local School District met the following criteria:
- An effective financial accounting and reporting system has been implemented;
- All of the fiscal emergency conditions have been corrected or eliminated, and no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that the district will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period;
- The objectives of the financial recovery plan are being met; and,
- The school has 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.”
A full copy of this 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 5,600 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.