Audit finds one issuePublished 10:54am Friday, August 31, 2012
County BOE financial officer: ‘We knew we were going to have that finding’
Auditors with the Alabama State Department of Examiner of Public Accounts only made one finding when they reviewed the Tallapoosa County Board of Education’s books for Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011.
The examiners found that funds from the Public School Fund had been used to cover a cash deficit in the General Fund.
“There was only one finding, and we were proud of that,” said Phil Blasingame, chief school financial officer. “We knew we were going to have that finding.”
A funding gap occurred, Blasingame said, and the system used the Public School Fund money to ensure that construction continued at Reeltown High School. All the funds were replaced, but a corrective action plan signed by the school system said it would avoid such an action moving forward.
A previous audit found that Tallapoosa County Schools had a deficit balance of $1,197,360.22 in the General Fund on Sept. 30, 2010. This deficit was decreased to a deficit of $158,640.05 by Sept. 30, 2011, according to the most recent audit.
Tommy Thweatt, assistant chief school financial officer, said the system now has a positive balance but still lacks the necessary $1.7 million monthly operating balance. Thweatt gave an example of why it is hard to maintain a positive balance.
“The state sent us $26,800 for a technology coordinator, but a technology coordinator’s salary is usually $60,000 plus benefits,” Thweatt said, “So we are looking at about $80,000 for a technology coordinator, but they send us $26,000.”
Superintendent Joe Windle said that these “mandated but unfinanced” requirements are a strain on the system but that the system is still doing its best to get back into compliance with the required monthly operating balance.
“Our recent audit noted a deficit balance of $158,640.05. As of Sept. 30, 2012, we will no longer be in a negative cash balance position,” Windle said in a letter to the State Department of Examiners.