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Published: Wednesday, 4/3/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Consulting firm presents first draft of performance audit to Toledo Public Schools

BLADE STAFF

A private consulting firm that conducted a performance audit of Toledo Public Schools recommends cuts and efficiencies that the firm says would save the district about $100 million over five years.

Evergreen Solutions presented its first draft of its performance audit of to the Toledo Board of Education tonight, offering 169 recommendations for changes in district practices. 

District staff and board members have a week to request corrections in the report for factual errors, and then Evergreen will return a final report in an additional week.

Evergreen Solutions President Linda Recio presented the report to the board and gave highlights of its recommendations. The report is more than 500 pages long.

RELATED: Full audit report

Many of the large cumulative cuts would be in personnel.

The recommendation with the largest projected savings would be in negotiating larger special education class sizes with the teachers' union. Increasing the ratio of special education students to staff could save the district about $15 million over five years, according to the report.

Other staff reductions recommended by Evergreen Solutions include: eliminating 15 assistant principal positions to save $8.5 million over five years, clerical staff reductions to save about $5 million, cutting nine psychologists to save about $4 million, and the elimination of more than 40 data support positions for about $2.5 million in savings.

Other big ticket recommendations include: $12.5 million in savings by decreasing TPS contributions into an employee health-care fund; $7.8 million in savings by reducing supplemental pay; $7.5 million in savings by eliminating dozens of buses; an energy management program to save more than $6 million; the sale of excess TPS properties to save more than $3 million; textbook savings of about $5 million, and savings of about $4 million by consolidating K-8 buildings and vacating the district administrative headquarters on Manhattan Boulevard.

Board President Brenda Hill said that members will now have to digest the lengthy report.  She said the the board will create a committee to develop an implementation plan for the performance audit after the final report is complete.

John McAvoy, a board member with the Northwest Ohio Conservative Coalition that advocated for a performance audit, said so far he's liked what he's seen of the report. He said the next step is making sure it was implemented.

"I'ts not going to sit on the shelf," he said. "I guarantee that."


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