The audit found the district’s budget deficit increased nearly three-fold between 2016 and 2019 because officials did not take sufficient actions to control costs. The audit also found the district has a lack of adequate budget policies, has had turnover in its leadership ranks and has done little to control special education costs.
The audit report listed a range of possible options the district could implement to save millions of dollars, including cutting salaries by 2 percent, increasing teacher’s contributions to retiree health benefits and capping the district’s payment toward employee health care benefits at 90 percent; the district currently pays 100 percent of that cost.
The suggestions would account for more than $20 million in savings.
The audit, however, stated that before the district imposes changes on its teachers union or seeks a possible state takeover, the district should publicly disclose what the likely effects of these actions are.