Fiscal mismanagement, administrative and faculty differences led to troubles in Fayette County Schools, Audit finds

09/17/2014 02:15 PM

Uncommunicative administrators, mismanagement of financials and weak policies led to financial instability of the Fayette County School System, an audit conduct by Auditor Adam Edelen’s office found.

Edelen announced the findings of the audit on Wednesday after initial allegations were made indicating possible criminal wrong doing — something Edelen said his audit did not uncover.

“We found no evidence of criminal activity,” Edelen said. “However, we did find chronic mismanagement of the district’s budget and finances which has contributed to its financial instability.”

“This examination found that unfortunately, it’s not all about the kids. Sometimes it was about turf battles and mismanagement of the state’s second largest school district with an annual budget of more than $400 million is obviously troubling.”

The School district’s budget director and finance director did not have open lines of communications.

“When you have people who have an inability to work together it does create professional problems within an organization,” Edelen said.

Edelen said the inaccuracies in accounting reflect the $20 million shortfall which initially led to the investigation. The financial transactions made by the school system’s finance director were not illegal, but auditors did question whether or not the availability of money was purposely hidden.

The audit also uncovered more than $115 million that the Department of Financial Services spent on travel, training and reference books over a four year period. The Audit found the amount was unnecessary and excessive.

Edelen told reporters that he hopes the audit can act as a “road map” for the public school system to “drive structural reform” and provide a better administration of the school.

The Fayette County School District is the second largest school district in the state.


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