RCSD payroll process pilloried in state audit
Justin Murphy of the Democrat & Chronical reports,
“The Rochester City School District’s procedures for disbursing its budget of almost a billion dollars is a shambles, the New York state Comptroller’s office said in an audit released Monday, with a lack of proper controls along with widespread skirting of the rules that do exist.
The audit found no evidence of intentional fraud, but plenty of opportunity for it. There were problems with nearly every employee payroll and credit card purchase reviewed, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of big-ticket purchases and contracts that hadn’t been properly bid.
In its written response, the district acknowledged most of the auditors’ findings as accurate but disagreed with the overall characterization.
“We are concerned … that general readers of this report may misunderstand some of the findings,” School Board President Van White and Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams wrote. “Our position is that our recurring biweekly payroll … is materially correct.”
. . . Even so, the auditors found a near-universal lack of compliance with purchasing and payroll policies, in matters large and small.”
Just one year earlier the D&C reported issues with the district’s $1.3 billion modernization project.
Our district’s budget reaches nearly $1 billion dollars while we suffer educational failure in approximately 83% of our schools.
Mismanagement of the money we receive and the adherence to State education policies that are detrimental and dehumanizing to our children are the problems we face in education and money is not the answer.
Unfortunately the Rochester City School District is not the only district that operates in this manner but is more indicative of many inner-city urban districts.
With ridiculously large budgets and unconscionably high failure rates is it apparent that our current system of public education must change in order to stave off the oblitheration of public education and the proliferation of charter schools.
Until we change our current system of education to concentrate on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens, we will continue to financially support failure.
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