Parish school district gets clean audit

Published 12:41 am Friday, January 12, 2018


VIDALIA — Concordia Parish School District officials announced Thursday the district had received its cleanest audit of the last three years.

Two areas which had tarnished an otherwise clean record in the 2015-2016 and 2014-2015 audits were cleared up in the 2016-2017 year’s report, Director of Business Affairs Tom O’Neal said at Thursday night’s school board meeting.

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“We have a good audit this time,” O’Neal told board members. “And we’re proud of that because we haven’t been able to say that for the last two years.”

In the past, the district was cited for giving an unintended raise to teachers after the district changed from an experience and degree-based pay system to an evaluation-based pay scale.

The second remedied citation stemmed from a software issue that miscalculated some depreciation schedules for assets.

That, too, O’Neal said, was fixed for the 2016-2017 audit.

O’Neal also reported an increase in the district’s general fund of approximately $365,000.

This increase brings the general fund, O’Neal said, to approximately $20 million.

“It was very minor, but we did have some minor growth,” O’Neal said.

Each audit also reflects the full retirement plan expenses in the case that every teacher in the district were to retire at once, in which case the district would be approximately $14 million over budget.

Though that eventuality is unlikely, O’Neal said it is important to note that of the district’s 252 teachers, 62 have 25 years or more of experience, meaning many retirements are possible in the coming year.

Though not noted as a citation, the auditors with Silas & Simmons, LLP, reported that one classroom in the district in which a maximum of 24 students were allowed but had were 26.

O’Neal said he sent a letter back to the auditors saying it was not economically feasible to hire another teacher for only one to two students, which the auditors accepted as sound reasoning.

O’Neal said in the classroom in question has para-professionals at work to alleviate any added stress to the teacher.

The audit also found no instance of non-compliance, he said.

O’Neal said he was proud of his district for receiving the clean audit, and said the last two years were outliers in an otherwise positive record.

“It’s big for us,” he said. “But I’m accustomed to good audits.”

In other news:

4The school board elected to keep each members in the same elected position on the board, in the committees and made no changes to board members’ compensation.

4The coach’s playoff supplement, which will increase the weekly salary of coaches during playoff season, was passed and will retroactively affect all coaches since the first day of school in the 2017-2018 school year.