Friday, June 6, 2008

Lancaster Independent School District's Audit

There have been speculations about what would come out of the TEA audit, but most never thought that it would be at the level of the TEA considering appointing a financial conservator. That is one of the strictest sanctions that is available to TEA. There appears to be several reasons for this consideration:

1. Attendance inflation (letting seniors leave and counting them present when they were not in class). This seems to be a practice by some other districts.
2. Improperly spent $652,000 in bond money.
3. Reported a $3.6 million fund balance to the balance sheet; the actual was a balance of negative $2.3 million (used a short term loan to show the difference).
4. Kept inaccurate budget records, including failing to properly record a $6 million loan.
5. Charged travel expenses on a district credit card while receiving per diem allowances of those costs.

Carolyn Morris, the newly elected president of the school board is anxious to get answers from Superintendent Dr. Larry Lewis. We trust that she will give him ample opportunity to answer all questions by board member, but we also know that she will take whatever actions are necessary to improve the education of the children in the Lancaster ISD.

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