Cost-Reduction Efforts

Greater Efficiencies, Budget Reductions and Historical Cost-Savings Information


  • As a self-insured organization, the district has realized a savings of more than $500,000 in Workers’ Compensation premiums and related expenses. Since becoming self-insured in 2009, the district has  saved a total of $2,038,216.
  • During the summer months, a 10-hour, four-day workweek schedule has resulted in $282,752 in savings since 2011 by reducing utility and similar operating costs.
  • As part of a thorough review of new school-year classroom staffing levels, the district achieved savings of $780,877 by adjusting the new-hire process.


  • Reduced building budgets by 20 percent, resulting in a savings of approximately $350,000.
  • New negotiated agreements with the Olentangy Teachers Association and the district’s two classified unions will save more than $13 million over the three-year duration of these contracts.  The majority of the savings is due to major changes in health insurance plans and a one-year step-increase freeze for teachers.  (Members of the classified unions went through a step-increase freeze during the 2011-12 school year.)
  • Adjustments to staffing patterns at the middle-school and high-school levels will save $850,000.

Olentangy cost-reduction measures 2011-12

Reduction Savings
Reduce staff professional development 80,000
Bring special program services on site 250,000
Eliminate random drug testing 180,000
Limit athletics transportation 80,000
*Reduce printing and postage costs 40,000
Eliminate MS athletic directors 140,000
*Reduce number of ES assistant principals 413,208
*Eliminate 4.5 central office administrators 354,805
Non-union classified wage/step freeze 200,000
Classified unions wage/step freeze 150,000
Reducing MS and HS teaching positions 1,000,000
Reducing office aide positions 81,806
Reducing literacy support positions 177,214
Total 3,147,033

* These reductions began during the 2010-11 school year, but 2011-12 school year marks the first year full savings will be realized.

2010-11 School Year: $2,006,364

  • $1,300,000 in wage increase costs for the 2011-12 school year through a one-year negotiated contract extension with the Olentangy Teachers Association (OTA) that includes a zero percent base-salary increase.
  • $706,364 in wage increase costs for 2010-11 school year through one-year negotiated labor agreements with two of the district’s classified union groups.

2009-10 School Year: $10,530,550

The district cut $8,103,424 over the next four years of the five-year financial forecast through saving:

  • $1,640,358 by reallocating 12 custodian positions;
  • $1,348,585 by reallocating 7.5 elective/unified arts teaching positions at the middle and high school levels;
  • $1,230,000 by reallocating four elementary school assistant principal positions;
  • $1,205,792 by reallocating eight elementary and secondary classroom teaching positions and raising the student/teacher ratio to slightly higher levels for new growth (from 21 to 24 student average at the elementary level and 24 to 25 student average at the secondary level);
  • $842,689 by adjusting the elementary strings/general music program beginning with the 2010-11 school year and reallocating six music positions;
  • $435,063 by reallocating six bus driver positions;
  • $398,172 by reducing 37 certified teachers extended service days;
  • $291,849 by reallocating two maintenance positions;
  • $288,739 by reallocating three office aide positions;
  • $204,364 by reallocating two intervention aide positions;
  • $118,125 by reallocating one middle school field technician position; and,
  • $99,688 by reallocating two elementary school computer aide positions.

The district’s administration has also enacted a number of items that are one-time only savings rather than long-term adjustments to the staffing patterns. During the 2009-10 school year, the district has saved $2,427,126 in one-time reductions such as:

  • $410,000 by reducing all school budgets by 20 percent for the 2010-11 school year;
  • $300,000 for the 2010-11 school year by delaying the purchase of social studies curriculum materials at the elementary school level;
  • $235,000 in all non-union classified employees foregoing a cost of living pay raise for the 2010-11 school year;
  • $200,000 in all administrators foregoing pay raises for 2010-11 school year;
  • $175,778 in 40 elementary level department chair supplemental positions not being filled for the 2010-11 school year;
  • $158,286 from the general fund and $375,000 from the bond funds by not increasing the number of bus routes for the 2009-10 school year despite gaining approximately 1,000 new students;
  • $164,889 so far this school year by not replacing five classified positions as part of the district’s “classified hiring freeze;”
  • $100,346 in salary and benefits costs by not filling the vacant Assistant Director for Human Resources position for the 2010-11 school year;
  • $100,000 by reducing classified overtime for the 2009-10 school year;
  • $82,827 in salary and benefits costs by reducing two Curriculum Supervisor positions from full-time to part-time positions for the 2010-11 school year;
  • $65,000 by restructuring the middle and high school drug testing program and eliminating the announced pre-season drug test for all three seasons; and,
  • $60,000 per year by reducing classified substitute pay rates.

Many of these savings are from restructuring the district’s current hiring practices and removing certain positions that were included in the five-year financial forecast. This means that as the district’s student population continues to grow, the district will not hire as many people in certain positions and redistribute this additional work amongst the current employees. Olentangy is able to begin this new staffing model because the district’s size has reached a level that allows the district to take further advantage of economies of scale.

This adjustment also allows for a compounding savings factor because money that is saved in the first year of the forecast is also saved in years two, three and four

2008-09 School Year:

The district cut $3.2 million over the next four years of the five-year financial forecast through the following adjustments:

  • saving more than $240,000 per year by adjusting elementary library staffing levels;
  • saving $100,000 per year and increasing instruction time by making changes to the 2009-10 kindergarten schedule;
  • saving $200,000 per year by eliminating daycare transportation services;
  • saving $100,000 per year by outsourcing all athletic trainers to Ohio Health Choice; and,
  • saving $160,000 per year by eliminating the permanent substitute position in each elementary school.


Olentangy Local Schools adjusted various staffing patterns to save more than $6.4 million over the next five years.


State Auditor’s Office conducts a Performance Audit specifically looking at the areas of human resources, finances, facilities and technology. The report stated that Olentangy performs at a high level of efficiency in the areas that were assessed and that the district is highly service oriented and strives to ensure that it provides the highest possible quality of education based on its available resources. The board assigned the Development Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee to study the recommendations in more detail and make their own suggestions regarding the impact of these recommendations on district operations and services.


David Campbell and Association, Inc. conducted a transportation study that reviews the efficiency of bus routes, transportation for non-public students, current bus purchase/replacement schedule, transportation office staffing and other general recommendations.

2000 & 2003:

Paragon Communications conducts an administrative staffing study comparing Olentangy to the Ohio Department of Education’s list of districts that are most similar to Olentangy and to those school systems in the nation that reflected similar growth patterns. The 2000 study found that Olentangy was understaffed in administration and provided recommendations on how to efficiently remedy this problem. The 2003 study showed that the addition of administrative positions since the 2000 study demonstrated greater assistance with operations and again provided scenarios for appropriate administration updates.


Olentangy Board of Education formed a community Operations and Efficiency Task Force to review and make recommendations on how the district could improve and enhance its operations through the utilization of “best practices” and to make recommendations for stretching district tax dollars.