Auditor places Little Miami School district on fiscal watch

Posted by Trina Edwards - email

LITTLE MIAMI, OH (FOX19) - Ohio Auditor of State Mary Taylor has announced that the Little Miami School District is in fiscal watch.

The declaration was made following the district's failure to submit an acceptable financial recovery plan to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) outlining steps the district is willing to take to eliminate a projected deficit of nearly $10 million.

"Little Miami Local School officials face some tough financial decisions in the weeks and months ahead," Taylor said. "My office stands ready and willing to provide continued assistance to the district in addressing this difficult situation."

The Auditor of State's office completed a performance audit for the district in November 2009, offering recommendations on how to maintain financial stability. The audit explains that while the district has been proactive addressing the deficit, a number of difficult programmatic and operational reductions remain as options for consideration in the financial recovery plan.

ODE initially placed Little Miami Local School District in fiscal caution on November 14, 2009 following the results of a five-year financial forecast, which revealed a deficit of $251,000 by the end of fiscal year 2010 and growing to $9,980,000 by the end of fiscal year 2011. District officials then had 60 days to submit an acceptable financial recovery plan, which they failed to do.

Following Thursday's declaration placing the district in fiscal watch, Little Miami officials now have an additional 60 days to submit a plan outlining steps they will take to eliminate potential deficits. Continued failure to produce an acceptable plan will result in a fiscal emergency declaration. When a school district is placed in fiscal emergency, a state commission is appointed to help regain financial stability.

The school district has tried and failed at several levies in recent months.

A copy of the complete fiscal watch declaration is available online.

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