Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taxpayers Beware: Our Schools are In Crisis and the Spending Continues!

Recommendations given to the Englewood Board of Education Based on Synopsis of Audit for the year ended June 30, 2011. The taxpayers of Englewood paid for this Audit.

I. Administrative Practices and Procedures
It is recommended that the issue regarding the Superintendent's employment contract be
resolved with the State Department of Education.

II. Financial Planning, Accounting and Reporting
It is recommended that:
  1. The payment of compensated absences (ie. unused sick and vacation leave benefits) be made in accordance with State regulations and approved employment contracts. 
  2.  Internal control procedures be reviewed and revised to ensure funds are available prior to contract awards. Furthermore, contracts be encumbered when awarded. 
  3. Expenditures be classified and charged to the appropriate budget line accounts in accordance with the Uniform Minimum Chart of Accounts for New Jersey Public Schools
III. School Purchasing Program
*It is recommended that continued efforts be made to ensure purchases and contract awards in excess of the bid or quote threshold are made in accordance with the Local Public School Contracts Law. 

IV. School Food Service
It is recommended that the District review the prior year accounts receivable balance outstanding at years end and appropriate action be taken to clear it of record.

V. After School Day Care and Summer Programs
*It is recommended that revenue collection and reporting procedures in the After School and Summer Child Care Programs be reviewed and revised to provide greater internal controls over amounts collected.

VI. Student Body Activities
*The District develop and implement financial reporting and internal control procedures related to the financial transactions of the high School, Middle School and Athletic Accounts.
VIII. Facilities and Capital Assets      There are none
IX. Miscellaneous      There are none

X.  Status of Prior Year's Audit Findings/Recommendatins
A review was performed on all prior years' recommendations and corrective action was taken on all prior year findings, however, further action is required for the recommendations denoted with an asterisk (*).
The above was copied word for word from the Auditor's Report for Englewood Board of Education. The Auditor projected that 2 years down the road EPSD would suffer financial hardship. This means that the taxpayer will suffer down the line. The budget is in shortfall/danger and under attorney review. It is clear from the above assessment that fiscal responsibility is sorely lacking. The items in red with the asterisk are recommendations from previous years that have been ignored. Why was it reported that EPSD was signing a lease agreement with the City for Liberty School and for Saint Cecilia? And by the way, whatever happened to the 5.8 million dollars collected for the selling of Liberty School? Isn't that enough money to employ all of the new teachers that Dr. Carlisle dragged into the fray?

Is anyone surprised that EPSD does not listen to Auditors that taxpayer money funds to help clear up the mess made by persons who do not adhere to the rules? Is anyone surprised that the Board Meeting of December 19, 2011 ended with 12 A 63 Request Proposal for the hiring of an expert consultant to assist the Superintendent and the Board in the fiscal Operations of the District?  Taxpayers, now we must pay the bill created by the person who will fix their fiscal mess.

Three Letters From the Executive Superintendent
Three letters documenting the communication between the state and EPSD were distributed to the public. It is very clear that the board is not in compliance. Hypothetical situation...What if student A was given a chance to redo an assignment for a better grade? If he/she hands in the exact same paper each time it is submitted, will the grade go up? No way! It might even go down, because the student is demonstrating that he/she has learned nothing. Why were no communications from George Garrison III/Board of Education to Mr. Gilmartin included? It seems we only have access to part of the puzzle.

                                           How are the children?

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