Audit finds schools deficient in policy, supplies

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A 2006 audit of the Tucumcari Public Schools found the district lacking in two areas and made recommendations for improvements.

The audit by Albuquerque-based Accounting & Consulting Group, LLP was presented Tuesday at the school’s regular meeting of the Board of Education.

“They weren’t minor findings, but there were only two and that’s a very good sign,” Board Chairman Rex Kirksey said. “They show we don’t have any problems in the business office. Those are the only problems we have and I think we’re in very good shape.”

Areas to be corrected, according to recommendations in the auditors report are:

• Leave policy and practice for accruing leave. The audit report said the district should review all employee policies and implement all policies that have been approved. And, that the policy be clarified as to definitions of support staff, 11-month staff and licensed or certified employees.

• Warehouse supply inventory. The audit report said the school must establish and implement procedures over supplies inventor. An inventory for the end of June 30 was not available.

School Superintendent Aaron McKinney said the school was implementing software recommended by the state’s Public Education Department to track and price school supplies.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, the district’s total revenues were $10.660,996 and its expenses were $10,649,152, compared to 2005 when revenues were $11,591,140 and expenses were $11,709,848, the audit stated.

The decrease in revenues is attributed to a decrease of federal funding and the end of the state’s public school facilities outlays for roof repairs, renovation of the Rattler Stadium and other improvements.

Of the total revenues, $8,148,452 represents the district’s general fund, a 3.48 percent increase over last year.
The general fund is used for everyday operating expenses, including salaries, maintenance, utilities and other expenses. The district did apply for and receive additional funds for increased utilities, which is reflected in the general fund. The general fund does not represent restricted funds such as funding for special programs.

In other matters before the board:

• Preliminary test results of field testing to provide a basis for assessing the cause of the soil problems with the foundation at the Tucumcari Elementary School were presented for information to board members from McKeen Consulting Engineers, LLC of Albuquerque.

From various soil samples, McKeen’s findings show that there are “very moist soil conditions at depths of about 2 meters (6.5 fee) and greater,” according to the preliminary results. Several samples “soils near the building are at greater moisture than those farther from the building. The high moisture in subsurface soils is the cause of foundation movement and will have to be addressed in the repair plan,” according to the preliminary report.

Testing is not complete and additional tests will be conducted when the weather permits, said McKinney.