Brookfield Local School Board on Wednesday approved asking the Ohio Auditor’s Office to release the district from fiscal emergency.
“It’s like a kid saying we want to move out on our own,” said Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor.
The auditor’s office will do a five-year forecast and, if the projection shows the district to be spending less than it is taking in, the district will be free of state oversight and imposed strict spending limits, said district Treasurer Craig Yaniglos.
“We think, financially, we’re about ready,” Taylor said.
The district entered fiscal emergency in 2013, but had been reeling for years before then.
“It’s struggled financially since 2005,” Yaniglos said.
The request to exit the program will be the district’s fourth. So, what makes this one different?
“The balance sheets are healthier than they were before,” Taylor said.
Tax revenues have gone up and the state is providing more subsidy while officials have cut costs and renegotiated more favorable contracts, Yaniglos said. In late December, the non-teaching union agreed to a one-year contract with no pay hikes.
Officials said they believe the state could respond to the request by spring.
That would please school board members, who have bristled at the restrictions that require them to put cost control ahead of educational concerns.