LUMBERTON — The Board of Education for the Public Schools of Robeson County received a clean audit on Tuesday, and the recommendation that it increase fees for before- and after-school care in order for the program to support itself.
Julia Kinlaw, a certified public accountant with S. Preston Douglas & Associates, delivered two findings along with her report. She told the board that its general and capital outlay funds were over budgeted by $5,545 and $189,956, respectively. She said budget amendments could account for the discrepancy.
She told the board that the system lacked personnel, mainly in the front office and food service, to segregate and properly oversee the duties involved with handling receipts, deposits and bookkeeping.
Erica Setzer, chief finance officer for the school system, said that none of the findings were a surprise, nor were they significant.
Setzer said when she completed the current budget, some of the allotments from the state and the federal government were not yet in the school’s bank account, making it hard to plan. She said that the money spent over budget were included in the budget but under a different line items.
She also said that the the second finding is typically included in the system’s audit every year because it does not have the money to hire additional staff.
“Overall, I think you’ll see that it was very positive,” Setzer told the board.
Kinlaw told the board that the balance for all funds except child care increased.
She suggested that the board consider increasing the fee for before- and after-school care or decrease expenses.
The increased fund balance was a result of decreasing expenditures, according to Setzer.
She said she doesn’t expect any increase in revenues in the coming year and plans to continue decreasing expenditures where she can.
Also Tuesday, Marcia Edge presented the board with the details of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment, which helps the systems in the state determine their needs, examine the nature and causes of those needs, and set priorities in the hopes of graduating all ninth-grade students in four years.
A team of instructional reviewers will complete the needs assessment next week in the Robeson County schools.
The assessment is also part of the system’s School Improvement plan, which sets benchmarks for improvements for the coming year.
At the close of the board meeting, the members recognized Danny Stedman, assistant superintendent of operations, with a standing ovation for his nearly 40 years with the school system. Stedman will be retiring on Jan. 31.
“It’s been a pleasure,” an emotional Stedman said. “I will always support the Public Schools of Robeson County and this board. This is my life.”
In other business Tuesday, the board:
— Received a 98.26 percent efficiency rating from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Support Division for Transportation Services, which added $1 million to the system’s transportation allotment, making a total of $4.98 million.
— Received a $500,000 reimbursement for MAC Study program.
— Approved a contract with Floyd’s Auction, of Wilmington, for it to oversee the system’s surplus auction on May 5 for 9 percent of the profits. The company was the low bidder for the contract.
— Named Fairmont High School as the recipient of the winter beautification award. The school received a voucher for up to $200 for future beautification.
— Recognized Rick Dial, a 15-year music teacher at Peterson Elementary School, as the certified Employee of the Month; Marie Britt, who has worked as a teacher assistant for the school system for 17 years at Rowland Norment, as the classified Employee of the Month; and Jewell Sampson, a 30-year bus driver for Union Chapel Elementary School, as the Bus Driver of the Month.
— Recognized Ny’Ree Watson, a senior at Fairmont High School, as the recipient of the North Carolina Association of Educators Minority Affairs Art competition.