The Little Miami Local School District was officially released from fiscal emergency on Wednesday, May 22 when the district's state oversight commission disbanded.
Members of the state Financial Planning and Supervision Commission voted 5-0 on a resolution to release Little Miami from fiscal emergency after 34 months under state control. The action was met with a round of applause from those assembled in the Little Miami High School media center.
This meeting of the oversight commission was the final step in a months-long process for Little Miami, beginning with the passage of a 13.95-mill, five-year emergency levy in November 2011. In order for a district to be released from fiscal emergency, it must meet four key criteria, according to Ohio Revised Code. A district must:
- Have all fiscal emergency conditions eliminated, and no new emergency conditions occur
- Have an effective financial accounting and reporting system implemented, with the expected completion in two years;
- Meet financial recovery plan objectives
- Have a "non-adverse" five-year fiscal forecast approved by the Auditor of State.
At the May 22 meeting, Anna Mary Thomas from the Auditor of State's office told the Commission that Little Miami had met all of the accounting methods criteria and would not need to be monitored for the next two years. Thomas also explained key points of the district's five-year forecast and said that as of May 22, the district would remain solvent for the next five years and have an approximate $14 million carryover at the end of the 2017 fiscal year when the current tax levy expires.
She also reported that the district will have paid back all of the $11 million in solvency assistance loans by the 2014 fiscal year.
Superintendent Greg Power said the district was grateful to be beginning this new chapter in Little Miami's history.
"I really want to thank our staff's and our families' support throughout this time," he said at the meeting. "Students are only get one time to be kindergarteners or high school seniors, and I want to thank those people who made our students' experiences enriching despite the tough times."
Ohio Board of Education President Deb Terhar also attended the meeting and said she wanted to thank everyone for their hard work.
"What a journey you all have been on!" she said. "I want to commend all of you. You came through it all in a great way."