Groveport Madison being audited

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The State Auditor’s office is performing a state performance audit on the Groveport Madison Local School District.

"There’s been literally an army here examining the district and pouring over our finances," Superintendent Scott McKenzie told the Groveport Madison Board of Education at its March 12 meeting. "I don’t know when all their recommendations will come in, but some will be trickling in soon with their entire report completed maybe by August."

The state performance audit, which began in February, was triggered by the district’s five year financial forecast  released last fall that showed the district, at the end of fiscal year 2008, is expected to have a fund balance of $458,874. That figure drops dramatically to an estimated $34,118 by the end of fiscal year 2009. The district is projected to go into the red in the following three years, potentially being in the hole by $1.3 million in 2010, $3.8 million in 2011, and $7.6 million in 2012 if additional revenue is not obtained.

Because of the financial condition of the district, the state performance audit is being done at no cost to the district.

Groveport Madison Treasurer Anthony Swartz, who is completing a new five year financial forecast for the district due out in April, said the state auditors are examining the district’s finances, buildings, transportation, and other related areas.

"They’re looking at the district from top to bottom," said Swartz. "Their goal is to help us improve.

Swartz added the auditors will also compare Groveport Madison’s finances with districts of similar size in order to put the district’s situation in context.

The last continuing operating levy the district passed was a 13 mill levy in 1991, which is now reduced to 6.65 mills. Swartz said House Bill (HB) 920 dictates that the money generated by this 1991 levy can generate "X amount of money" and must maintain that level. To do so, HB 920 takes that the same group of properties from 1991 and reduces the millage for them so they generate that same "X amount" of funds.

"Any new properties added come in at the revised 6.65 millage," said Swartz.

District voters renewed a 5.4 mill, three year emergency levy in 2006, which generates $4.5 million annually.

Other Groveport Madison news

•McKenzie told the board that district administrators will participate in an integrity training class April 3 & 4. The $4,000 cost of the class will be paid for by the Franklin County Educational Services Office.

"This class will be valuable for me and valuable for all of us," said McKenzie.

•The board approved a recommendation to begin contract negotiations for 2008-09 with Modular Space Corporation for the eight modular classrooms at Groveport Madison High School. This is the sixth year the modulars have been in place at the school. District officials will explore the possibility of buying or leasing these 14 by 68 foot units.

•The board approved a agreement with Electronic Classrooms of Tomorrow effective Feb. 1 for the one year lease of 38 laptop computers and two printers at a cost of $400 per month.

•By a vote of 4-1 with board member John Kershner as the lone dissenting vote, the board approved contract renewals for Dorethia Copas, Sedalia Elementary principal; athletic director Mike George; Richard Playko, assistant high school principal; Mary Schroeder, Groveport Elementary principal; Donis Toler, high school principal; and Aric Thomas, assistant high school principal.

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