Concordia School District receives clean audit
VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish School District’s business manager reported to the school board at its Thursday meeting that the school district received a clean audit for its 2011-2012 fiscal year.
The independent audit, conducted by Payne, Moore & Herrington LLP, found that the school district’s financial statements fairly represent the financial position of the school district.
The audit shows that the school district had, as of June 30, approximately $53 million in assets and approximately $18 million in liabilities.
The school board’s net assets decreased by approximately $770,728 as compared to the previous year, Business Manager Tom O’Neal said.
In his analysis of the audit, O’Neal said personnel benefits, including health insurance costs, have risen significantly over the past several years, and the trend is expected to continue with little relief in sight.
O’Neal said of the parish’s 273 teachers, 105 have 20 or more years of experience and 78 have 25 or more years of experience.
Because the parish does not have a younger staff, its salary and benefits cost are only going to go up, since teachers are paid on an ever-increasing scale.
At the end of the fiscal year, the district’s general fund had a $21.7 million fund balance, an increase of approximately $800,000 more than the previous year’s fund balance.
Overall, O’Neal said he would give the district an A on its audit.
“It wouldn’t be an A-plus, but it would be an A,” O’Neal said.
In other news from meeting:
•Superintendent Paul Nelson said that due to significant flooding, the Concordia Education Center would be closed today. All other schools will be open.
•Board member Raymond T. Riley Sr. questioned Nelson about why Nelson did not cancel school today because of flooding.
Riley said a parent called him shortly before the meeting “irate” because a school bus ran off the road and the parent’s child had to get off the bus in the rain and go to school with wet clothes.
Nelson said he consulted with principals of parish schools before 7 a.m., and he did not think the weather was significant enough for school to be canceled. He also said that the parish is responsible for children as soon as they are picked up by a bus, which he said is as early as just after 6 a.m.
Nelson said if he waits too late to cancel school, and a child has gotten on the bus and parents have gone to work, the parish is responsible for that child all day.
Riley contended that canceling school was warranted due to the significant flooding and the number of students and staff that could not make it school because their homes were flooded.
Nelson said there were a number of absences, but nearly 3,000 students still made it to school. Any absence because of the weather Thursday will not be held against a student if it is going to push them over the limit for maximum absences allowed, Nelson said.
•The board recognized new board member Jeffery Goodman.
•After recommendations from a parent-teacher committee, the board adopted blue and orange as the colors for Concordia Parish Academy. The school’s mascot will be the gator.
•The board recognized seventh-grade parish students who won the parish-wide Veterans Day essay.