Published: Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:55
COLUMBUS – Auditor of State Dave Yost Tuesday released the East Knox Local School District (Knox County) from fiscal emergency, a status it held for more than two years.
The district spent a combined four and a half years shifting between fiscal caution, watch and emergency because of deficit fund balances and a failure to adopt and submit an acceptable financial recovery plan.
“Today, the district and its community can breathe a sigh of fiscal relief,” Auditor Yost said. “The decisions were not easy, but they were vital to the financial upswing the district is now experiencing.”
The district, which enrolls roughly 1,230 students, erased a projected $3.3 million deficit, in part, by reducing staff by 27 employees for approximately $1.5 million in annual savings. Also, the district is saving $144,000 each year from the closure of Bladensburg Elementary School, in addition to $19,000 by charging lunchroom utility costs to the food service fund instead of the general fund.
During the current fiscal year, the district will begin realizing added revenue from a 10-year, $1.2 million annual emergency levy passed on Nov. 8, 2016. The district also implemented a “pay to participate” fee for athletics, increasing revenue in the general fund by $50,000 each year. The fee will be phased out in fiscal year 2018.
Additionally, the district had to satisfy the following requirements to be terminated from fiscal emergency:
Effectively implement a financial accounting and reporting system in accordance with Section 118.10(A) of the Ohio Revised Code; Correct or eliminate all fiscal emergency conditions and prevent new ones from occurring;
Meet the objectives of the financial plan; and Prepare a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State; the opinion expressed by the Auditor’s office is “nonadverse.”
The Ohio Department of Education placed the district in fiscal caution on Sept. 4, 2012 due to deficit fund balances. Auditor Yost declared the district in fiscal watch on Sept. 30, 2014 before elevating its status to fiscal emergency on Feb. 5, 2015 after it failed to adopt and submit an acceptable financial recovery plan.
Published: Friday, 28 October 2016 11:43
By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter
GAMBIER - Tim Kaine encouraged early voting and made his case for Hillary Clinton at a speech at Kenyon College on Thursday.
He spoke at the Kenyon Athletic Center to a lively crowd of several hundred people, largely composed of Kenyon students. Early in his speech, he spoke about the importance of U.S. voters electing the first woman president, adding that, historically, the country has a relatively poor record of voting women to federal office.
"When Hillary asked if I would be her running mate, one of the things that really excited me was the notion that I would be able to play this supporting role in what we hope would be a history-making election," Kaine said. "What a cool moment. You guys are lucky."
Kaine encouraged members of the audience to vote early. Student volunteers handed out information about early voting at the event.
He said that Ohio is a "check-mate" state: "If we win Ohio, we win this."
Kaine praised Clinton, stating he he can vouch that she has the "stamina, judgement, preparation and temperament to be a great president."
He said Clinton will fight for equal pay for women and for LGBT rights.
Kaine also spoke about Clinton's plan to make college more afforable and to help reduce the student loan debt problem in the nation, which would include forgiving some student loan debt or helping with more afforable refinancing options. He also spoke about the need to combat climate change as well as Clinton's commitment to LGBT rights.
Democratic VP Candidate Tim Kaine speaks to a crowd of mostly college students at the Kenyon Athletic Center Thursday - KP Photo by Dylan McCament
"We are not just a party who just walks on by," Kaine said. "We are a party of people who rolls up their sleaves and gets to work."
He said that, despite the widespread inequalities of the era, the Founders were smart enough to make equality the "North Star," that gradually led to changes in the law that led to greater and greater equality.
Much of speech was spent criticising Donald Trump, who he said cannot really look at a woman and see an equal. He said Trump's insult-driven campaign has targeted everyone from Mexicans to Muslims to women.
"He has insulted every group," Kaine said. "If he has such a low opinion of us, he should not be running."
He attacked Trump's statement that the election is rigged and that he may not accept the Nov. 8 results.
"Trump said he will keep us all in suspense," Kaine said. "This is a country we're trying to run, not a reality T.V. show."
He said Trump's attacks on the U.S. election process itself are an insult to democracy, adding that that Ohio Governor John Kasich has called allegations that the election in Ohio is rigged a "big fat lie."
The vice presidential nominee also took a shot at Trump University, which he said was designed to cheat people out of money.
Towards the end of the speech, Kaine said that, despite early predictions of a Clinton victory, nothing can be taken for granted.
"The polls are looking good," he said. "But it could get a lot closer. Surprises happen."
Kaine also encouraged voters to get out of vote for other democratic candidates such as Ted Strickland who is running for Senate. He added that it would be much better for Clinton to have a Congress she can work with instead of one that is going to fight against her every single day.