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State auditor gives Austintown schools a passing grade



Published: Mon, March 9, 2009 @ 12:22 a.m.

By Elise Franco

AUSTINTOWN — The township school district manages more than $39 million annually and passed its annual state audit with no major snags, its treasurer says.

The audit was released by Mary Taylor, state auditor. “They come in and do a random sampling of different things,” said district Treasurer Barb Kliner. The audit period was July 1, 2007, to May 30, 2008.

The district employs 220 noncertified staff members and 344 certificated staff members.

At the end of fiscal 2007-08, the district’s total revenues equaled more than $39.8 million. Expenditures increased by nearly $1 million, however, giving the district a deficit of $1,302,365.

Superintendent Doug Heuer said because of carryover of more than $4 million from previous years, the district’s total budget at the end of that fiscal year was $3.3 million.

“Three years ago, we had our Blue Ribbon Audit, which recommended we could save $1.2 million per year,” he said. Heuer said the district’s revenues haven’t increased substantially, but expenditures have been cut significantly.

“We’ve been reducing spending by $2 million for the last four years, which is how we’ve generate so much carryover,” he said.

Some of the district’s major expenditures are instruction, which was $24.4 million, and support services, $14.5 million. Operation of noninstructional services, extracurricular activities and facilities acquisition and construction make up the remainder of the district’s expenses.

Kliner said the auditor may pick out random checks and track them back to the original documentation to check for signatures and make sure all the checks cleared through the bank. She said they also look for suspicious activity.

She said payroll records and revenue are reviewed.

“They follow what they call an audit trail to see if we’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s,” Kliner said.

Kliner said a good audit will include recommendations on what the district could do to improve itself. She said the recommendations were minor.

“One of the things that we had started doing because of time constraints was we had some of our principals using rubber stamps instead of signing their name,” Kliner said. “We were told we couldn’t do that.”

She said overall, the benefit of an audit is that the district is able to have a fresh set of eyes look everything over.

“A lot of times, the audit will catch things we’re not aware of,” Kliner said. “We have to make sure we modify that for the next time.”

efranco@vindy.com


Comments

1AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree Grump but that will never happen. The only people that suffer are the taxpayers and the children. The taxpayer is expected to dig deeper into their pockets and pay more. If a levy fails, the children are punished by cutting busing. But the teachers and administraors are never expected to give anything up. Don't feel guilty if you vote no on a levy, you already pay enough in school taxes.

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2peej1984(9 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you people kidding? You dont reduce the amount of teachers to save money? Less teachers means more per classroom, which means less quality time per student. There are other options for saving money. One idea would be to get out of the Federal League and save money on fuel to transport students to Akron, Canton etc.... It has to cost a fortune to transport for all those sporting events. Sports are very important to schools but there are local schools here that can build a new conference.

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3AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Reduce salaries, not teachers. If they do not like the pay, they can find another job,

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4FormerYoungstowner(13 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

So it's alright to use taxpayer money to transport all sports teams to Akron, Canton, etc. but using taxpayer money to pay the salaries of those that work in the schools with kids is not? You all make a lot of sense.

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5aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Youngstowner, peej was suggesting against the idea of using taxpayer money to transport teams.

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6aztek519(29 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Riiiight, Cut the teacher salaries. Because they already make SOOO much money. Give me a break.

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7metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

It's is not the teachers who are the issue It's the board and that clown Heuer who are running us into the ground and putting us in the red. As for getting out of the Federal Leagge ever since we joined we have nt done good in football or basketball. Schools form the big cities can recuirt form out of ther area plus they have more studnets and money to work with. really it makes it very hard to beat any team form Clevelnad or canton. And eyt they have no money to bus people who LIVE in the township,that is why they want to get rid of high school bus runs for next year. Duh,trim the fat!

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