Middletown Schools earn top state auditor honors 3 years in row

Middletown High School.

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Middletown High School.

For the first time in the modern era of Middletown Schools, the district has won a state auditor’s top honor three consecutive years.

Officials from the Butler County school system said the award largely reflects a series of financial moves that saw it save $10 million from a $96 million school construction project.

The $10 million, which was available after Middletown opened a new middle school — and renovated and expanded the adjacent Middletown High School — is now funding a campus expansion of Rosa Parks Elementary that will help alleviate classroom overcrowding throughout the district.

ExploreMORE: Construction begins on $10M Middletown school expansion

Earlier this week the Ohio Auditor awarded the city schools an Auditor of State Award with Distinction.

The award to local governments and school districts comes after state officials complete an annual review and audit of the government entity.

“This award honors the hard work school district officials put in daily to keep clean, accurate financial records,” said Auditor Keith Faber in an accompanying statement. “Their efforts go a long way toward making Ohio more efficient, effective, and transparent.”

Middletown Schools Treasurer Randy Bertram is in charge of the finances of the 6,400-student district, but he said historic, three-year streak is also the result of many in the district focusing on cost-efficiency and financial diligence.

The district had not previously won the state award from 1998 until it garnered the distinction in 2017.

He said the district saved $10 million from the school construction project, which was completed in 2018 by reapplying for the state’s share of the building project.

ExploreMORE: Middletown Schools ready $96 million project for new middle school and renovated high school

“The district has also been able through frugal efficiencies to increase the general fund cash balance from $500,000 to over $20 million in the last five years,” he said. “This excess cash is giving us the stability to make wise decisions and financial planning in the current economic conditions of the pandemic, state increased EdChoice legislation, state flat funding from 2019 and an increase in special education services. Middletown City Schools is a district on the rise and a part of that is our strong fiscal responsibility.”

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