District receives audit

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By Nathan L. McBroom

A recent financial audit of the Shelby County Board of Education revealed that last year the district lost almost $15,000 at two local after school programs.

According to the audit, which was delivered to the board at their meeting on December 13, after school programs at Clear Creek and Painted Stone Elementary schools ended last school year $11,000 and $3,820 in the red, respectively.

Greg Murphy, finance coordinator for the district, said that while the deficits are an area of concern, he is fairly confident that the current deficits at the schools will not be seen at the end of next year.

Murphy said that, as a general rule, after school programs do not generate funds for the district. However, the programs, which provide activities and care for students until their parents can pick them up, are expected to at least break-even.

Murphy said the programs are a service to the community and the district is not required to offer the service.

But if the service is not managed properly, it can be a financial burden to the district.

At the end of the 2006 school year, Clear Creek's program had a deficit of almost $40,000.

At the end of last year, Murphy made a number of suggestions to the board as to how the programs could be more financially responsible.

He suggested that the programs work to control spending, monitoring staff and eliminating sporadic child drop-ins.

Many of Murphy's suggestions have been adopted since that time. He said that by "tightening the belt" at the program at Clear Creek they have gained ground financially.

The audit also revealed that $76,000 of food services funds had not been properly recorded in the transaction books. The district's food services department errored when it failed to correctly log in a deposit.

Although the money was in the bank, the error made a discrepancy in the books and was caught on the audit.

Murphy said that the issue has been resolved and controls have been put into place so that it will not happen again.

Murphy said this year's audit was positive overall.

Also during their meeting on December 13, the board approved to extend a depository agreement with American Founders Bank until May of 2010.

While the bank will continue to offer the school system an interest rate of .51 percent above the Fed Fund high rate on their account, it will no longer offer them schools a courier service that picks up deposits from each of the schools. The board is currently exploring options for their courier service.