- Hillside Middle School
Ohio Department of Education removes PCSD from Fiscal Caution status
January 13, 2020
Recently, the Parma City School District received some good news from the Ohio Department of Education.
At the January 6, 2020 PCSD Board of Education meeting, Sean Nuccio informed the community that the PCSD had been removed from Fiscal Caution status by the Ohio Department of Education. The PCSD was originally put in Fiscal Caution by ODE on August 1, 2016.
According to ODE’s website, being placed in Fiscal Caution requires a school district to correct multiple areas to improve their finances. Districts must provide a written proposal “discontinuing or correcting the practices and conditions that led to the declaration of Fiscal Caution.” In addition, ODE is allowed to regularly visit and inspect a district in Fiscal Caution and “may monitor the district’s financial situation on a monthly basis.”
As a result of being placed in Fiscal Caution status, the PCSD worked with ODE to regularly review district finances and compare five-year forecasts.
“The Ohio Department of Education monitored our monthly transactions and our monthly reports,” PCSD Treasurer Sean Nuccio explained. “We spoke a couple of times a month and we talked about things that we were concerned about. They also attended some of our finance committee meetings. And we both did five-year forecasts and we talked and compared them. So it was monthly monitoring.”
Beginning in 2016, the district also began reducing expenditures in the general fund budget and enhancing revenues through approved fiscal recovery plans. The continuation of those reductions is just one reason the district finds itself in a more financially stable position.
“We’ve turned our finances around,” Nuccio added. “We can forecast our financial stability and the state doesn’t feel like we need their help to maintain financial stability.”
“This is a very important step to regaining the trust of our community,” said PCSD Superintendent Charles Smialek, Ph.D. in a statement. “Our treasurer’s office, under the leadership of Sean Nuccio, obviously deserves a tremendous amount of credit for their diligence in leading the processes that have delivered us to a more stable financial outlook. However, we also owe our gratitude to all of our staff members who have sacrificed much over the years in learning to ‘do more with less’ for the greater good of our students and district.”
Public school districts in Ohio are required to have financial audits completed each year. Recently, Rea & Associates, an independent Certified Public Accounting firm, completed their financial audit of the PCSD for the last fiscal year. Their report has been submitted to the Ohio Auditor for review and public release.
“Our last one was just completed and it should be out pretty soon,” Nuccio said. “They (Rea & Associates) have certain compliance requirements they have to meet which come from the Auditor of State’s office.”
Nuccio stressed a strong financial outlook will require continued fiscal responsibility and close monitoring of district finances.
“We need to continue to be fiscally responsible even being out of Fiscal Caution and the oversight by ODE,” Nuccio expressed. “We can’t just go and spend the money frivolously. We will continue to maintain that close oversight of our finances and we will continue to make sound financial choices as we move forward.”
“One of our three main district goals is continuing to practice fiscal responsibility,” Smialek added in the statement. “As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor our finances, make sound financial decisions, and practice fiscal responsibility to provide the best possible educational experience for our students.”