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February 11, 2014, 10:46 am

By , Staff Reporter
Mount Vernon News

HOWARD — Only a handful of community members were present at Monday’s East Knox school board meeting when Ohio Department of Education fiscal consultant Pat Williard and Sonja Hunter, assistant director of ODE finance program services, told the East Knox school community, “the State’s not going to come to the rescue.”

Williard, who currently monitors the district’s finances on a monthly basis, had first given a presentation about the district’s financial status and the steps it has taken to balance its operating budget. She said the district was placed in fiscal caution in September 2012 because of a projected deficit, and submitted a recovery plan to offset that deficit. The district then was able to “stay in the black” due to previously cutting 20 staff positions and the resignation or retirement of 20 additional veteran employees.

Another deficit, this one in the amount of $476,000 was projected for fiscal year 2014, and due to 20 more staff members leaving and other cuts, the district will finish the 2013-14 school year in the black.

Williard said cutting more staff will not help overcome the projected deficit for fiscal year 2015. When the five-year fiscal forecast is submitted in May, and the operating deficit is certified, the Auditor of State will place the district in fiscal watch and ask that a fiscal recovery plan be submitted within 60 days.

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