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Manatee School Board Hears Final Responses to Auditor General Findings

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Dr. Diana Greene

BRADENTON - At Tuesday's special workshop meeting, members of the Manatee School Board listened to a presentation on how the district will be responding to the Florida Auditor General's financial and federal findings for FY 2012-13, as well as what measures will be taken to improve efficiency for the current and future fiscal years.

The presentation was given by Deputy Superintendent Diana Greene and other staff that also worked on the responses, which encompassed two of the auditor general's financial findings and seven federal findings. 

In response to the financial finding that there were deficient controls over the budgetary process, which negatively impacted the General Fund, District Budget Director Heather Jenkins said that a positon control module has been implemented which would track district employee hirings. Jenkins said the module would ensure that only vacant positions are filled. 

The budget director also advised the board that other policies and procedures were currently in place, but need to be "revised and strengthened." She added that the district will also be developing a monthly and yearly expenditure forecasting tool as one of the measures taken to ensure it is not spending more than it is receiving. 

In response to the federal finding that the district did not adequately document charges to the Special Ed. Program for coordinated early intervention services (resulting in $1.5 million of questioned costs), Wylene Herring-Cayasso, Director of Exceptional Student Education, expounded on the presentation's statement that the district-developed procedures have been developed to have strengthened the documentation of charges to the S.E. program. 

The ESE director advised that closer monitoring of S.E. students is being done with more efficient logs and flags on students for tracking purposes; and that moving forward after issues in the past with tracking students, "we will not lose them as they move from school to school," she said.

At a previous workshop meeting, Deputy Superintendent Don Hall advised the board that the district hoped to find documentation that would diminish or negate the costs associated with some of the findings. Out of the nine responses presented, the federal awards finding that district records "did not adequately document the allowability of certain Title I program expenditures, resulting in $207,923 of questioned costs" was the only one that the district is confident will be redacted, which would negate the $93,156.00 and $3,195 of indirect costs associated with the finding.

Superintendent Rick Mills advised that he and a small team (including Chairwoman Julie Aranibar) will be attending a presentation from the Auditor General to the Department of Education next Monday in Tallahassee. "We have a plan of action to go and meet with DOE and other officials there to address our concerns around (the findings) and the financial impact," he said. 


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