From financials to academics, the Loveland City School District was selected for four audits this past school year. Below you will find a summary of each audit as provided by the appropriate member of the administrative team.
Federal grant audit
By Kimberly Miller, assistant superintendent, teaching and learning
During the month of April, the district underwent a review of federal grant expenditures and instructional applications of federal grants: Title IA, Title IIB and Title III. The audit, conducted by Ohio Department of Education (ODE) consultants who are responsible for monitoring the implementation of federal grants in districts, also included the district’s management and implementation of federal grants at St. Columban. Districts can be audited for rules compliance every three years.
It took a district team of eight people a total of two months to prepare for the documentation review. I provided a number of artifacts to document our compliance with the various aspects of the federal grants we receive. Some of the artifacts had to be submitted to ODE prior to the on-site April 2 visit. Other artifacts were reviewed on-site. The on-site review included visits to both the Primary and Elementary Schools, which are the schools where the district’s Title IA services are housed.
I’m pleased to report the district met all compliance criteria with only one exception, an addition that has since been added to our board policy on the education of homeless students.
Special Education, Gifted Education, and Fiscal Programs audit
By Eric Dool, coordinator of student services and Kimberly Miller, assistant superintendent, teaching and learning
This past January, Loveland City Schools underwent an on-site review of its Special Education, Gifted Education, and Fiscal Programs, conducted by the Ohio Department of Education. Local school districts are randomly selected each year for participation in this review, which entails an in-depth look into districts’ systemic practices and overall compliance with Federal and State mandates, including specific compliance with the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities. ODE spent several days with the district, reviewing district procedures and records, interviewing district staff, and meeting with parents of students with educational disabilities.
As a result of their review, ODE has found that Loveland City Schools is performing extremely well in its fiscal management of its Special and Gifted Education programs. While Loveland City Schools will have to undergo some minor corrective action for systemic issues in both programs, this was to be expected, and is quite minimal when compared to most other Ohio school districts undergoing this review. Furthermore, the system corrections for our gifted services had already been identified at the district level. Throughout the 2012-2013 year, administrators have been planning changes to Loveland City Schools gifted services. These changes will bring Loveland into compliance with state rules and expand gifted services to students. Additionally, when reviewing records for Loveland’s students with educational disabilities, ODE found that Loveland has complied with better than 90 percent of all requirements for student evaluations and Individual Education Plans (IEPs), an astounding accomplishment considering the multitude of work that staff is required to complete in ensuring effective services for students.
ODE took time to write Dr. John Marschhausen personally to commend Loveland’s high level of preparedness for this review, a note that was shared with the Board of Education.
It is also important to note that the treasurer’s office staff assisted my department in providing all of the financial data required during the review. Of all the material supplied there were only a couple of items that needed to be adjusted; nothing was noted in writing from the auditors in the final write up of the audit.
By Brett Griffith, treasurer and CFO
On December 14, 2012, Loveland City Schools was routinely selected for an Examination of the $15,000,000 Tax Anticipation Notes, Series 2005 issued in 2005. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) routinely examines municipal debt issuances to determine compliance with federal tax requirements. The primary purpose of this examination was to ascertain the compliance of our debt issuance with the Federal tax requirements applicable to tax exempt financings. They had no reason to believe that our debt issuance failed to comply with any of the applicable tax requirements. This audit required a considerable amount of hours from several individuals to gather data, work with our bond council and the auditor(s) from the IRS.
On March 11, 2013, the district received a letter from the IRS that they had completed their examination and as a result of all the data reviews they made a determination to close the examination with no change to the position that interest received by the beneficial owners of the Bonds is excludable from gross income under section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Fiscal 2012 state audit
By Brett Griffith, treasurer and CFO
At the close of every fiscal year the Loveland City Schools has to have an audit done on the financials. The State of Ohio Auditors Office has the first right to audit the district. If the Auditor of State chooses, they can farm the audit out to the private sector. For the past three fiscal years the Auditor of State has chosen to perform the audit. The State audits the District’s basic financial statements as of and for the year ended June 30.
The objective of an audit is to express their opinion concerning whether the basic financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the district’s financial position, changes in financial position, and cash flows (where applicable, in conformity with U.S. general accepted accounting principles). This audit spans approximately four to five months, every year. The hours spent in preparation are tremendous.
For the past four fiscal years during my tenure as treasurer/CFO, the State Auditors Office has found that the Loveland City Schools District complied, in all material respects, with the compliance requirements.