Performance Audit for CHUH School District for Fiscal Accountability & Transparency

Performance Audit for CHUH School District for Fiscal Accountability & Transparency

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TigerNation LowerTaxes started this petition to CHUH Residents & Citizens

CH-UH SCHOOL DISTRICT PERFORMANCE AUDIT  

A permanent 7.9 mill levy proposed by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District recently failed in a hotly contested and close election. Now, when the COVID-19 pandemic is straining many residents’ finances, the School Board is taking steps to put a 5 mill levy on the November 2020 ballot AND planning for ANOTHER 15 mill levy in 2022! 

The next levy will result in CH-UH having the highest property tax rate in Ohio. It is more important now than ever that the District take steps to ensure that it is using its resources wisely. We call on the CH-UH School District and the School Board to request a comprehensive Performance Audit from Ohio’s State Auditor. 

What is a Performance Audit?

·       A Performance Audit is a full review of a school district’s finances and operations conducted by Ohio’s State Auditor. It covers areas like building maintenance, food purchasing, bus routing, staffing, health insurance, collective bargaining agreements, employee compensation, contract management, and facility and asset utilization.

·       Between 2011-2018, Performance Audits have informed 80 Ohio school districts how to save over $138 million. 

·       In addition to cost savings, a Performance Audit would increase the District’s transparency, and credibility, as well as establish a vital line of communication with taxpayers.

When was the last Performance Audit performed? 

·       The last Performance Audit was conducted in 1999 – 21 years ago! It identified approximately $6-7 million in annual savings from improving the District’s management of procurement practices, facility utilization, staffing levels, employee benefits, and student transportation costs.  

·       The District has inexplicably refused residents’ calls for a Performance Audit.  A resident’s recent inquiry to the State Auditor revealed that CFO Gainer has had the paperwork for 6 months but has not sent it back to the State Auditor for them to begin the Performance Audit.

How much does a Performance Audit cost?

The State Auditor works for the taxpayers and seeks only direct cost recovery. Between 2011-2018, the State Auditor’s recommendations to school districts have yielded an average of $22.50 in savings possibilities for every $1.00 spent to audit. The estimated cost of a Performance Audit is $75,000. 
Our community has demonstrated a strong commitment to our schools.  According to Ohio’s CUPP reports, our "tax effort" index (the degree to which we tax ourselves, given our income levels, to support the District) is 1.4567 – that’s 45% above the state average!  The CH-UH School District and the Board of Education should honor the community’s commitment by holding themselves accountable to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are well spent.

WE CALL ON THE CH-UH BOARD OF EDUCATION TO:

·       REQUEST A COMPREHENSIVE PERFORMANCE AUDIT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE COVERING ALL SIGNIFICANT AREAS OF THE DISTRICT’S BUDGET, INCLUDING BENEFIT AND PENSION COSTS, BUSING, FACILITIES, OPEN ENROLLMENT, STAFFING AND PURCHASING

·       POSTPONE PUTTING A PERMANENT LEVY ON THE NOVEMBER 2020 BALLOT TO ALLOW TIME TO CONSIDER AND IMPLEMENT THE PERFORMANCE AUDIT’S RECOMMENDATIONS

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!