Auditor of State Mary Taylor kicked off the first in a series of four financial training sessions today aimed at strengthening fiscal operations and oversight of the state’s community schools.
“We are excited about this opportunity to help improve accountability in our state’s community schools,” Taylor said. “Since taking office, I have seen instances of financial reporting irregularities, bad bookkeeping and misrepresentation of financial information, lax or nonexistent internal controls, and outright fraud at some community schools. The majority of charter school operators are properly managing their financial operations, but those that don’t, threaten the success of the others.”
Those attending today’s training session include superintendents, treasurers, principals, and finance managers of community schools throughout the Dayton and Cincinnati metropolitan areas. The workshops specifically offer training on the retention of financial statements, state regulations for financial reporting, and other fiscal obligations, including:
• How to Prepare for an Audit
• Compliance with State Laws and Regulations
• Grant Restrictions/Funding
• Budgeting and Financial Forecasting
"The tools provided in these workshops will help to improve financial accountability in Ohio’s charter schools," Taylor said. "We strive to make sure every Ohioan knows that their tax dollars are being spent appropriately and legally. We are pleased to provide this opportunity to our community schools to help them continue to provide financially strong academic options for students and parents across the state."
Recently, Taylor worked with House Speaker Jon Husted to seek passage of a plan to increase oversight and accountability within the state’s community school system. The plan requires the State Auditor to notify the school’s sponsor and the Department of Education when a charter or community school fails to submit documents showing how tax dollars were spent. If financial statements and records are not brought into an auditable condition, state payments to the school will stop. The plan was adopted as part of the state’s two-year $52 billion budget.
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).