SALAMANCA – A state-mandated district audit completed at the end of June revealed some problems within the Salamanca School District. The problems have been addressed, and a corrective plan has been put in place and will soon be submitted to the state Comptroller’s Office.
The audit found deficiencies in three areas: management of student extra-classroom activity funds, annual financial reporting and general fund balances.
Auditors found problems in student ledgers not being properly kept for all clubs and suggested developing better procedures that keep students and advisers involved with the handling of funds and the reconciliation of those funds at regular meetings with the district central treasurer.
Another suggestion was to close out accounts from clubs that were made up of students that had graduated the previous year. Those funds, according to the auditors, should be applied to a club that benefits the student body as a whole.
According to Superintendent Robert Breidenstein, an ongoing plan is in place to train the club advisers, as well as officers of the club, in proper handling of the ledgers and funds.
Breidenstein said the district has a plan to address the fund balance percentage’s being over the legal limit. The current amount in the unassigned and committed fund balance in the district’s general fund, as of June 30, was $4,053,000, or 16 percent of the 2013-14 budget. The state mandates that the amount cannot exceed 4 percent of the budget.
The superintendent said it could take more than 20 years to bring down the amount if the district were to decrease the tax rate by $1 million each year, under the 2 percent tax cap set by state law. Breidenstein said it is unacceptable that the district cannot have any larger than a 4 percent fund balance, given such things as teachers’ retirement costs increasing more than 150 percent over the last five years.
Finally, requests have been made to have the auditor aid in drafting the annual financial statements. According to the auditors, the state of the business office necessitated the request.
It also was recommended that training of the business staff continue.
The members of the board also approved the following appointments:
• Lynn Lukaric, appointed to a one-third position as French teacher assigned to the junior-senior high school, effective Nov. 4.
• Wendy Donahue as a teacher assistant in Prospect Elementary School for a three-year probationary period.
• James Bucki to the musical producer-director in grades 7 through 12.
• Mark Lungerhausen to musical accompanist in grades 7 through 12.
• Nancy Vreeland returns as provisional attendance officer.
• Keith Windsor, a St. Bonaventure University student, to a 415-hour unpaid internship, with Suzanne John, guidance counselor.
• Alicia Long, a Grand Canyon State University student, to an unpaid practicum, working with social studies teachers Lacey Philblad and Danielle Eaton.