September 9 1993

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September 9 1993 - Augusta school district allowed to keep...
Augusta school district allowed to keep operating despite deficit By MARK SCHAVER Staff Writer FRANKFORT, Ky. The state school board declared an emergency emergency yesterday so the Augusta Independent Independent school district in Bracken County could continue operating with a $58,000 deficit. Without the declaration, the tiny district with its 300 students could have been shut down. School districts were required by law to have a balanced budget by June 30. Augusta is the only one of 176 in the state that did not. The situation did not come to the state's attention until last week, and state board members said it raises questions about the Education Department's Department's ability to monitor local districts' finances. "We've got to have a system to look for the red flags," state board member Gary Stewart said. "It's obvious obvious after the fact that there's a red flag we didn't see." The Augusta school board submitted a request for the emergency declaration Sept. 3 that said the deficit was the result of Catholic priest indicted "inaccurate bookkeeping." Superintendent Larry Kelsch said the district, which has a budget of about $1.3 million, fell behind after it tried to switch from a manual system system to a computer earlier this year. The state can oust school officials for failing to operate their districts competently, but Stewart said the state board did not have any evidence evidence of wrongdoing. He said Kelsch has been asked to appear before the board in November November to explain what happened and how the district intends to correct the problem. Stewart said the district also did not follow the state's requirement that it keep all of its money in a single bank account, dividing it into 14 accounts. Kelsch said he did not know it was wrong to have several bank accounts. While some board members were critical of the Education Department, Department, finance director Kyna Koch said she has only five people working working with districts and they would not necessarily catch bookkeeping errors. Budget-balancing Budget-balancing Budget-balancing problems have led many smaller, poorer districts to merge with larger ones over the years. Stewart said Augusta should consider consolidating if its size makes it difficult to make ends meet. He noted that the district had a $4,000 deficit in 1988. Kelsch said merger has been discussed discussed since 1936, but "until this year, we were able to hold our own." In other business, the state board: Adopted an accreditation procedure procedure for non-public non-public non-public schools. The 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act did away with an accreditation system that covered all schools, but non-public non-public non-public schools asked that it be continued for them so they could qualify for intern teachers and show potential students they offer high-quality high-quality high-quality programs. Public schools will remain unaccredited. Met for two hours in closed session session Tuesday evening to give Education Education Commissioner Thomas Boy-sen Boy-sen Boy-sen his annual evaluation. Board members refused to discuss it yesterday, yesterday, but Chairman Joseph Kelly said, "I can tell you we continue to think he's doing an excellent job." in Union

Clipped from The Courier-Journal09 Sep 1993, ThuLATE KENTUCKY EDITIONPage 3

The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)09 Sep 1993, ThuLATE KENTUCKY EDITIONPage 3
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  • September 9 1993

    aaronl23 – 03 Dec 2016

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