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Lorain Schools CEO looks to hire firm to look at budget

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LORAIN -- A firm could be going through the Lorain school district’s finances as early as next week, the CEO announced Thursday.

David Hardy, who was named the district’s CEO in July as a result of years of low state report card and test scores, said the move is about “charting a course forward” to ensure the most money is being spent on children as possible.

“I want to have the best spending plan in place for our kids,” he said. “It’s about looking at where we are organizationally and looking at the culture of our spending. It’s about the spending on our programs and books and figuring out what can we be doing better.”

Hardy noted that, according to the state’s report card of the Lorain district, 66.1 percent of the district’s funds are spent on classroom instruction, ranking them 37th out of 41 of other like districts in the state.

Lorain falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to Lorain County districts’ classroom spending. Avon and Amherst rank the highest with 71.2 percent and 70.3 percent, respectively, and Sheffield and Keystone take the lowest two spots with 65.7 percent and 65.2 percent, respectively.

Hardy said the district’s five-year forecast has been in good shape in its past iterations and by having a third party go through the district’s books it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have faith in district Treasurer Josh Hill.

“Josh is one of the people actually helping me interview the top three firms we’ve selected to figure out the best one,” he said.

Hardy said he expects to have a firm in place by Thursday with one working by Oct. 16.

The firms include Parthenon, an Ernst and Young Co., Mehta Advisory Partners and PDK Education Partners. The cost ranges from $41,400 to $175,000 depending on the firm and Hardy said it’s something the district will be footing the bill for.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieHNix.



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