School district gets clean audit

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

NATCHEZ — Natchez-Adams School Board received its audit Monday, after a month of delays due to scheduling conflicts.

Within the document, The Gillon Group — the certified public accountants who conducted the report — noted no findings of trouble.

“With respect to internal controls and the federal programs, we found no findings,” said auditor Deanne Tanksley.

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Tanksley said some minor errors existed, little things that The Gillon Group found in the internal controls section, but none rose to the level of an audit finding.

“Therefore, you have no findings in this report,” Tanksley said.

One items noted, however, was in regard to the state purchasing law.

Auditors said the district failed to obtain the Mississippi Department of Education’s approval for the purchase of two modular buildings, and the purchase was from a vendor that was not on the approved list at the time of the purchase.

“The architects responsible for the bidding and purchasing of two relocatable classrooms failed to obtain the approval from the Mississippi Department of Education, which is required,” Tanksley said. “It’s one of those things that pops up in blue moon. It’s not something you have to change a policy for.”

Other than that, everything was consistent for the school district, Tanksley said.

The school district’s total assets went from $43.8 million in 2016 to $44.4 million in 2017, due to the growth in capital assets; land, school buildings, building improvements, buses, other school vehicles, furniture, equipment and other intangible assets. That was less than a 2-percent increase, which Tanksley said was a good sign.

While the total assets grew, so did the total liabilities for the district.

“The totally libabilites went from $51 million to almost $59 million,” Tanksley said. “That near $10 million increase is mostly because of the net pension liability.

“2.3-percent last year, 4-percent this year. Still good.”

The net pension liability is the difference between the value in the amount of benefits already earned by employees and resources accumulated and held in trust to pay those benefits.

The revenue for the district also increased from $39 million to $39.6 million This year. However, expenses also went up $39.8 million to $42.7 million this year, but Tanksley said it is because of the pension expense.

“Operations were minimal in the prior year,” Tanksley said. “The past two years have been consistent with one another, which is a good sign.”

Currently, there are only nine vacant teaching positions open within the Natchez Adams School District, NASD Superintendent Fred Butcher said.

* The NASD  is reviewing the certified and classified handbooks. The review will look over the student handbooks and see what can be updated concerning student expectations, requirements for students in the district, discipline and infractions. If updated, the board is considering students taking the handbooks home and making the parents sign it to ensure the parents understand the changes.

* The board unanimously approved a request for the AIM Notification, which is a notification system that allows parents and students to receive school district messages via text, email and voice mail and works with the the district’s existing system so it can be offered at no additional cost to the district.

* The board unanimously approved to replace fire extinguishers in 10 Natchez-Adams School District facilities at a total cost of $4,533.60.