Financial News

Management Letter June 30, 2019

2017 State Auditor Award

March 27, 2017 - Based on the recent annual financial audit of the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District, Ohio Auditor of State David Yost awarded BBH Treasurer Rick Berdine, on behalf of the district, the Auditor of State Award. Berdine and his staff strive to receive the award annually and have done so since he joined the district in 2012.

This award is presented to local governments and school districts upon completion of a "clean" financial audit report. The audit report must be free of any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings or questioned costs. The district routinely earns this prestigious award.

$37,000+ Annual Savings in Print Shop Restructuring

March 1, 2017 - Prior to the January retirement of the long-term staff member who operated the district’s print shop, Business Director Chris Coad analyzed the functions and scope of district wide printing needs. He was able reorganize and streamline the workflow of the print shop resulting in a net annual savings to the district of $37,000. 

The print shop position has been filled on a temporary part-time basis, 4 hours per day, for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year.  Data collected regarding the current print shop operation including volume of work, peak print shop operation, and current capacity of building copy machines and an exit interview with the previous staff member formed this recommendation. 

Coad shared with the staff that the district was not reducing the print shop operation capacity at this time but rather concluded that the new part-time print shop operator will be able to more than adequately meet the demands of the operation.

Data indicates that additional savings are available from a reduction in the volume of work currently being performed in the print shop.  Mr. Coad has suggested that improving print capacity at the building level and providing more autonomy to staff members to meet their own print/copy needs may result in an opportunity for additional savings. He is exploring that option at this time. Coad is hopeful that once all his recommendations are in place the annual savings could exceed $70,000.

District Awarded $20,000 BWC Grant

September 1, 2016  -  Chris Coad, Director of Business Services, announced the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District received a grant in the amount of $19,915.09 from the Bureau of Workers Compensation for lifts for middle school and high school special needs students. The lifts will be installed in September and will assist school staff with the movement of students who are physically challenged. Coad continually researches and applies for grants that will not only save the district but will also help students and staff.

District Earns Auditor of State Award for Clean Audit & Financial Reporting

March 24, 2016  - A recent financial audit of the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District by the Auditor of State’s office has once again returned a clean audit report. The district’s excellent record keeping has earned it the Auditor of State Award.

BBHCSD Treasurer Rick Berdine and his staff strive annually to receive this award and have done so since Berdine joined the district in 2012. He credits the entire school district for its diligence in safeguarding the community’s financial support of the schools. “ It is not only the staff in my office, but all staff members who are committed to providing an excellent education for all students while remaining accountable to our taxpayers.”

The Auditor of State Award is presented to local government and school districts upon the completion of a financial audit. Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report:

?The entity must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles):

?The Audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, ‘Single Audit findings or questioned costs:

?The entity’s management letter contains no comments related to:

wEthics referrals

wQuestioned costs less than $10,000

wLack of timely report submission


wFailure to obtain a timely Single Audit

wFindings for recovery less than $100

wPublic meetings or public records

BBHCSD to Share Treasurer with Cuyahoga Valley Career Center

March 1, 2016  - The Brecksville – Broadview Heights City School District (BBHCSD) School Board is pleased to announce that, in cooperation with the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC), the ongoing, shared services agreement covering Treasurer Rick Berdine has been formalized. Under this agreement, Rick Berdine, who began this dual assignment on a temporary basis in August 2015, will serve as Treasurer of both BBHCSD and CVCC through July 2018. BBHCSD will realize $36,000 of annual savings in salary and benefits. Berdine’s contracts have been approved by both Boards and specify that all duties of the treasurer must be fulfilled regardless of the time required.

Board President Mark Jantzen commented, “This is a stellar example of sharing resources to reduce the District’s costs while retaining an outstanding individual. The six month trial period has proven to the Boards of CVCC and BBHCSD and to Rick that the concept works for all parties.”

Prior to joining the Brecksville Broadview Heights City School District in August 2012, Berdine, who earned his BBA and MBA from Youngstown State University, spent nearly 15 years in the Lakewood City School District serving in several positions, including Business Manager and Treasurer. He also served in the Treasurer role at Cuyahoga Falls and Sebring Local school districts.

BBHCSD Board of Education Invoices Ohio Department of Education for Charter School Deductions

February 23, 2016 - The Brecksville-Broadview Heights Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution during its Monday, February 22, 2016 meeting to invoice the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) for past charter school deductions taken from the district’s state funding.

Treasurer Rick Berdine was directed by the Board to bill the ODE $2,752,526, the amount the district has lost in state funding to charter schools since fiscal school year 2002.

The Board took this action for a number of reasons including the low academic performance of charter schools compared to traditional public schools, the approximate $1 billion extracted from public schools across the state and given to charter schools and the publicly reported charges of charter school fraud and corruption.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights is one of many districts throughout the state calling for more accountability for charter schools and is hopeful this action will increase public awareness of the transfer of taxpayers’ funds from their local public school district to charter schools.

Online Fee Payment Popular with Parents

October 15, 2015 - When current Brecksville Broadview Heights City School District Treasurer Rick Berdine joined the district in 2012, he initiated, at the request of the Board of Education, an on-line fee payment system for families. Since then parents have had the opportunity to pay all students’ fees online including grade level fees, athletic and extracurricular fees, as well as lunch fees, using a credit or debit card. In the 2012-2013 school year, the district collected over $243,000 via online payments, including $111,000 for school lunches and $132,000 for student fees. Use of the on-line fee payment system increased in the 2013-14 school year by 77% and last school year increased by an additional 36%. Over all, the use of on-line fee payments grew by 142% in a three-year period. Clearly, BBHCSD families appreciate the ease and convenience of paying fees on-line.

District Saves over $82,000 in Natural Gas Costs

September 30, 2015 - Additional Savings in Utility Costs The Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District recently learned that thanks to membership in The Ohio Schools Council’s purchasing consortium the District is saved money on natural gas. As a result of Group Purchasing Volume Discounts, natural gas costs were lower than anticipated in Fiscal Year 2015, thus creating a positive balance for our district. A savings of over $82,500 was realized by BBHCSD in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. Earlier this school year, the District announced a savings of more than $450,000 over a ten-year period in electrical costs savings generated by new transformers and a change in suppliers. Cost savings and sound fiscal stewardship are on-going goals of the District.

$450,000 in Electrical Cost Saving for District

August 28, 2015 - District to save over $450,000 in Electrical Costs Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools will save $45,000 annually for the next 10 years after severing their Mills Road buildings' First Energy lease on transformers — electrical equipment that moves power from the electric company to buildings. The school system bought new equipment, at a cost of $550,000, from EUS, and will pay for it over 10 years, at $55,000 a year. The purchase will shave about $100,000 off the schools' annual First Energy bill, which last year totaled $684,000. The change will save the district $45,000 annually. Once paid off, the district expects to save about $92,000 annually on the transformers, only paying about $8,000 for maintenance annually. "It's sort of like the rent to own like televisions or stuff like that," Superintendent Scot Prebles said. "Because the equipment last so long and doesn't require much maintenance, it makes sense to own it you eliminate fees not related to the energy costs." The transformer will power the high school, middle school, high school, an outdoor athletic facility, the board of education office and Hilton Elementary School.

District Saves $300,000 in Copier Costs

September 8, 2015 _Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District continues to successfully find ways to save money for taxpayers while providing reliable service to the schools. A recent three-year audit of the district’s five-year contract with Konica Minolta Business Solutions revealed the district is on track to realize the initial 2012 projected savings of over $440,000 and has netted a verified savings of $300,000 through July 31, 2015.

The financial savings for the district is possible because of initial assessments and the ongoing identification of opportunities to optimize multifunctional devices. This included the initial relocation of many copiers and printers to more centralized areas in buildings and the elimination of over 40 district printers. Over the course of the past three years the district, in conjunction with Konica Minolta, has tracked a decrease in equipment down time and service calls. This has been a genuine benefit to faculty and students and increased the effectiveness of the equipment in place.

Superintendent Scot Prebles challenged the district’s Business Services Department to save at least 20% in copying costs over a five-year period. The challenge has been met, but cost savings efforts in this area and others are still a priority.

$250,000 Savings in Healthcare for District

August 14, 2015 -For the second year in a row, healthcare premiums for the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District will be lower than projected. Treasurer/CFO Rick Berdine announced the lower premiums will generate savings of $250,000 for Fiscal Year 2016.

The BBHCSD school district participates, as one of the founding members, in the Suburban Health Consortium comprised of 18 public school districts. The consortium works to contain healthcare costs for both the school districts and employees.

Berdine cautioned that this savings does not come close to offsetting the recent $1.7 million loss of TPP funds, but it will have a positive impact on projected expenditures. Berdine will present to the Board of Education a new Five-Year Financial Forecast reflecting this change and others in October as required by state law.

Ohio Auditor Recognizes District for Financial Accountability

March 15, 2015 - Dave Yost, Auditor of State for Ohio, has awarded the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District the Auditor of State Award following completion of the district’s Fiscal Year 2014 annual audit. Congratulations to Treasurer/CFO Rick Berdine, his staff and the entire school district for accurately reporting and safeguarding taxpayers’ funds.

BWC Premium Refund

October 15, 2014 - The Business Services Office participated in three Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) programs that reduced the District’s FY 2014 year BWC premium. The programs were the Transitional Work Program, the Industry Specific Safety Program and participation in a regional safety council. The refund of premium for “voluntarily” participating in these programs was $30,639.67. This savings is independent of the $110,000 rebate the District expects to receive from the BWC in mid-October.

Superintendent Scot Prebles commends Business Services Director Larry Tomec for taking the initiative and participating in these optional programs. He cites this as another example of how the Board of Education and administration continuously explore ways to implement cost saving efficiencies.

City of Brecksville Assists with Paving

September 5, 2015 - The City of Brecksville paved approximately 63,000 square feet of asphalt for the District over the summer. Director of Business Services Larry Tomec reported the District benefitted from a cost savings of $98,244 based upon Ohio Department of Transportation asphalt/paving pricing versus the City’s pricing. This is one of many examples of how the city supports the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools.

Revenue Increase for Special Education Costs

September 5, 2014 - The Board of Education learned at its August 2014 Board meeting that the District received $409,000 in reimbursement from the Ohio Department of Education for 2012- 13 school year special education catastrophic cost claims. This represents an increase of $326,000 above the reimbursement received the previous year. The District expects to continue to receive the increase funding level in 2015 for claims submitted last school year.

The higher reimbursement amount is attributed to increased State funding for special education claims and increased eligible claims filed by the District. Treasurer Richard Berdine advised the Board that the expenses for these educational programs were paid by the District, and the forecasted reimbursement revenue was anticipated to be $83,000 based on the 2013 reimbursement; thus these additional revenues will further assist the District with stretching its financial resources to deliver the quality education deserved and expected by student and residents.

Health Care Savings 2014

August 13, 2014 - Medical, dental and prescription drug healthcare insurance premiums will not increase this year for the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District due to low Suburban Healthcare Consortium claims last year. The district’s most recent financial forecast includes an annual projection of a 10% increase for medical and drug and 3% for dental. Over the lifetime of the current five-year forecast this will save the district approximately $1.5 million. “This is great news for our taxpayers,” said Superintendent Scot Prebles, “because the national increase in healthcare premiums ranges from 9% – 14%.”

Brecksville-Broadview Heights was instrumental in the creation of the Suburban Healthcare Consortium nearly fifteen years ago. Currently the consortium represents employees from 18 Cleveland area suburban school districts. The combined enrollment from these districts enables them to obtain better rates, establish wellness programs and control costs. This collaborative approach exemplifies the value of combining or sharing services among school districts.

- See more at: http://www.bbhcsd.org/blog/2014/08/13/low-healthcare-premiums-will-save-school-district-1-5-million/#sthash.MAlTdxA6.dpuf

No Windfall from State Budget

 July 15, 2013 - Approved State Budget Offers No Windfall The State of Ohio’s recently approved biennial budget is a balancing act for the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools. While not projected to lose as much revenue from Tangible Personal Property (TPP) taxes over the next four calendar years as anticipated, the new budget does not provide any additional revenue dollars for our district in the two year period covered by this budget. Consequently, the only increases in revenue from the state as compared to the current Five Year Forecast are in FY13-$0; FY14-$455,000; FY15-$910,000; FY16- $1.4 million; and, FY17-$1.5 million. These amounts are subject to future budgets and could be lowered or eliminated as early as FY15.

Refunding of Bonds

March 2013 - Refunding of Bonds Save Money for All Taxpayers Recently the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Board of Education approved Treasurer/CFO Rick Berdine’s recommendation to refinance outstanding bonds. Consequently, the millage rate assessed by the County Fiscal Office for property taxes paid by residents will be reduced since the revenues needed to repay the interest amount is lower. In 2006, the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District issued $26,705,670 of bonds and $8,920,000 of notes that achieved a net present value savings of $1,555,556,96. This reduced the weighted average interest rate to 4.09%. Based upon the current market conditions as presented to the Board of Education, the proposed 2013 refunding of $11,195,000 of the outstanding bonds will now reduce the interest rate on these bonds to slightly above 2% with a net present value savings of approximately $800,000. These two refunding events will yield collective taxpayer savings of nearly $2.4 million of interest that otherwise would have been paid by the District and its taxpayers. Board Vice President Mark Jantzen congratulated Berdine, who is new to the district this school year, for continually seeking ways to save dollars for the district and the taxpayer.

2012 Staff Contracts Approved

August 27, 2012 Brecksville, Ohio—Today, the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District (BBHCSD) ratified new contracts with the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Education Association (BEA) and the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Organization Support Staff (BOSS), the unions representing the district’s teaching and non-teaching staffs respectfully. The announcement was made by David Tryon, school board president.

By a 4-1 vote, the school board approved two three-year contracts with optional fourth years. This contract will save the district more than $6.0 million over four years.

“These were difficult negotiations, but in the end, all parties found an acceptable compromise,” said Tryon. “Now, we will all work together to have a great 2012-13 school year.”

Highlights of the new contracts include:

  • Potential savings against forecast will amount to more than $2.4 million from employee salaries over four years. The unions agreed to maintain the current salary schedule for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 with steps frozen and not restored in the future. An optional fourth year (2015-16) also calls for freezing the current salary schedule with steps frozen and not restored. This option will not be triggered by the board unless the school district budget can accommodate it. It should be noted that teachers who advance their education will still be able to receive a raise in pay based upon the current salary schedule.
  • Projected insurance savings over four years will exceed $3.8 million. Both unions’ employees will contribute 15 percent of premium costs for health and dental insurance and prescription drugs. The agreement requires employees whose spouses work outside the district to take their employers’ insurance. During the life of the contract a spousal premium reimbursement will be in effect, capped at $125 per month.
  • An eight-hour teacher workday replaces the current teacher day. This item will provide flexibility to serve student needs now and in the future.

“I am pleased with this outcome,” said Scot Prebles, BBHCSD superintendent. “Students, families and our community did not have to endure a work stoppage. Sports and extracurricular activities continue uninterrupted, and the new school year should get off to a great start.”

Tryon commented, “When we began negotiations, we had three principles in mind: quality education, fiscal responsibility and fairness to employees. The board came to a collective conclusion that this contract reflects these principles.”

“We appreciate the support of the community in terms of their comments and actions, especially in passing our renewal levy,” said Tryon. “We thank our teachers and support staff for the savings we will realize now and in the future. Now, we need to
work together to enhance educational opportunities in our school district with a focus on fiscal responsibility.”

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District has been receiving extensive local and even national coverage. “What we have experienced in these negotiations is not different from what is happening across the state and the entire country as funding
is being reduced or eliminated at the federal and state levels,” said Prebles. “Every school district must live within its means. The board and administration are dedicated to achieving this.”

Auditor of State recognizes BBHCSD

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