Brookfield Schools Placed on Fiscal Emergency

The Brookfield school district was placed on fiscal emergency Tuesday by the state auditor for failing to adopt a recovery plan to eliminate their current deficit.

A Financial Planning and Supervision Committee that assumes at least some responsibility from the district’s board of education will be created. Three commission members must be approved within 15 days, according to the auditor’s office.

The auditor’s office said the committee will then adopt a plan within 120 days to address the district’s financial state.

The district tentatively passed its first school levy in 18 years in last week’s election. The 4.85-mill  additional emergency levy was passed by three votes, according to incomplete and unofficial results, which triggered an automatic recount. The votes also do not count provisional ballots, which cannot be counted until 10 days following the election.

Officials expect to know the official result of the levy on Friday. The levy, if passed, will generate about $606,000.

Brookfield district officials said they have cut $500,000 in spending, including six teaching positions, and would use the money to hire new teachers.

The district was placed on fiscal caution Dec. 22, 2005 by the Ohio Department of Education due to anticipated deficits in the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The district failed to implement plans to eliminate the deficit, causing the district to placed on fiscal watch March 2, 2006.

The auditor placed the district on fiscal emergency after the district passed a resolution Feb. 21 that said they were unable to adopt a recovery plan that eliminated the current deficit, the auditor’s declaration says.

“The Brookfield Local Schools have some hard work ahead and difficult choices to make,” said state auditor David Yost in a statement. “My office is ready to work with school officials and the commission to bring financial stability back to his struggling district.”

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