Morenci school board 2012.09.19

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Board of Education received an audit report last week that was both positive and negative. There’s no problem with accounting procedures, but the numbers don’t look good.

Steve Piesko of the accounting firm Maner Costerisan told the board that business office procedures received a clean, unqualified report, but the approaching deficit situation must be addressed.

The budget for the current school year shows a deficit of $363,000 and a fund balance of only $256,000 to cover the shortfall.

When adapting a negative budget, the district must contact state offices to explain a strategy for getting out of the red.

Two accounting firms were hired in May, one to review the district’s business office and another for the annual audit. The decision was made in an effort to restore confidence in the business office after some school staff members had questioned the accuracy of information and reported past errors.

JOBS—Superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne told the board about a meeting he recently attended with several regional businesses that will be expanding operations. The business owners want qualified employees to fill future job openings.

Osborne said he was told that requirements are not focussed on academic skills as much as work ethic and teamwork abilities.

APPLAUSE–Secondary principal Kelli Campbell reminded board members of the  “Bulldog Applause” program designed to recognize students and staff for “positive acts.” Nomination forms are available at the school and on the school website.

STEAMER—The board voted to buy two smaller steamers for the kitchen to replace a larger one that needs repairs estimated to cost at least $5,000. The new units cost about $7,000 each.

SUPPLIES—The board approved bids from Lightning Quick for gasoline, from Tri-County Fuels for diesel fuel, from Aunt Millie’s for bread products and from Arps for dairy products.

COACHES—Megan Petticrew was hired as middle school cheer coach and Joe Farquhar as seventh grade boys basketball coach.

INSURANCE—Board members approved sending a letter of interest to explore a county-wide purchase of insurance.

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