First, Dixon Hughes Certified Public Accountant Jack Walker stepped to the podium and delivered his firm’s findings in an audit of the financial activities of Richmond County Schools during the 2007-08 school year.
He reported the schools expenditures exceeding revenues in the general fund, capital outlay and food service areas of the schools budgets.
He said the general fund ended the year with $57,000 more in expenses than income, about a $100,000 swing from the $45,000 surplus it had the year before.
“That is not a major number when you look at the dollar amounts involved, $10 million in expenditures,” he said.
He also said the capital outlay fund finished with a deficit of $171,000.
After explaining issues of restrictions on the use of funds through regulation, Walker discussed the food services portion of the budget.
He reported the food service fund had an increase in sales of $52,000, though the fund lost $474,000 for the year.
“There was a big increase in the cost of food and supplies,” Walker said.
He later added, “In most, if not all, schools we audit, food services loses money.”
Richmond County Schools Director of Testing and Accountability Steve Lear next stepped to the podium to offer the board an explanation of the district report card issued by the state for the school system.
He explained the report card has been issued every year since 2001-02 by North Carolina pubic and charter schools, in part to meet reporting requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, and also to provide information to parents, district residents and people and businesses who might consider relocating to a district.
“It is an informative instrument, rather than an evaluative instrument,” Lear said. “So, you won’t find A’s and B’s like you would on a typical student report card, but you will find a great deal of information valuable to our parents and our community members.”
He summarized the categories of information that are shared in each section of the report card.
“Although there’s a great deal of information on this form and on the website, it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story about our schools,” Lear said. “... data won’t give the overall picture. There are many great things going on in our schools.”