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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.‬”