ODE: #8216;Fiscal caution#8217; being considered

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2007


Reporting and other accounting concerns as far as federal grants programs have classified South Point Schools

as a “high-risk” district.

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This means the district will have to spend its own funds for federal programs, provide documentation for such expenditures and have these expenditures cleared before the district will be reimbursed, according to Roger Hardin at the Ohio Department of Education.

Because it is now “high risk” and “unauditable” —-

the latter according to the state auditor’s office —- the ODE is reviewing the possibility of placing South Point in the “fiscal caution” category.

This is the least severe of three classifications a school district experiencing fiscal problems can face.

“Fiscal caution” is a determination made by the Ohio Department of Education. The next

harshest level is “fiscal watch,” which is declared by the state auditor’s office as is a “fiscal emergency.”

When a district is deemed in fiscal caution and fiscal watch, it must come up with an acceptable financial recovery plan.

If a district is in fiscal watch and fails to submit an acceptable plan, it will be placed in “fiscal emergency.”

Also, if it fails to follow its plan or forecasts a significant budget deficit, it may also be placed in fiscal emergency. Then a commission is formed to draw up a long-range recovery program to rectify the fiscal situation. It will then oversee the implementation of the plan.

“The bottom line is we have not made a final determination on fiscal caution,” said Hardin, assistant director in the office of funding and fiscal support services.