State audit proposes teacher cuts at Springfield Local schools
HOLLAND, Ohio -- S pringfield Local schools can be doing more to get their fiscal house in order, according to a performance audit released by the state of Ohio.
Auditor of State Dave Yost said Tuesday that the district, which will put a tax levy before voters in May, could save more than $2.6 million annually by following state recommendations.
The troubled district was placed on fiscal caution in January after a series of failed levies and an 11.32-percent deficit going into fiscal 2016.
"Economic factors are stacked against Springfield Schools right now," Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost said. "The district should use every feasible opportunity to offset them."
An audit completed this month identified potential savings of $2,625,500 per year if the district followed the recommendations.
Those recommendations include cutting 37 general education teacher positions, three educations service personnel, and one certificated staff position. Those cuts would save $2,395,900.
Additional savings could be seen by reducing of sick-leave severance payouts to state minimum levels, negotiating classified employee salaries, and reducing food service labor to benchmark levels.
Springfield's October 2014 five-year forecast projected a deficit of $18.4 million by 2018-2019. It was at that point that the Ohio Department of Education stepped in to help the district by requesting a performance audit.
Now, the state says implementing their recommendations would reduce Springfield's projected deficit by 57-percent.
The district says they have begun implementing the recommendations.
Meanwhile, Springfield Local Schools will ask voters to approve a 5.9-mill operating levy to further help bring the district out of a deficit and fiscal caution. That vote will take place on May 5.