State’s Audit of Lakewood School District Shows Most Findings Were Lack of Proper Documentation; iPads Were Never Lost

boe 2014FIRST REPORT: The reports for recent State audits of the Lakewood Board Of Education are in, TLS has learned.

BOE Attorney Marc Zitomer tells TLS the majority of the findings were due to the failure of the district being able to provide proper documentation to support the spending.

For example, included in one of the findings were the ‘missing iPads’. However, those iPads were never missing, rather the district failed to produce the a full accounting for them – including where and how they were being used.

“It was really much ado about nothing,” says Zitomer of the reports of “missing iPads”.

The approximately 400 iPads purchased by the district were used for the public schools, and not for the non-public schools as some suggested.

In regards to those findings, “the district will be implementing procedures” to ensure the proper documentation is in place for all state and federally distributed funds – including but not limited to Title 1 moneys, Zitomer tells TLS.

From the dozens of findings, only a few will be appealed, Zitomer says. The District will be preparing a corrective action plan for the vast majority of the findings in the various audit reports.

One of the findings involves at least $2,000,000 which the District is accused of improperly carrying over from one grant year to the next without getting the necessary NJDOE approvals. However, the District’s auditors have demonstrated that the State’s calculations and methodologies are not correct. Therefore, the Board will be appealing this finding, Zitomer says.

In regards to the various findings of improper use of Title I funds, says Zitomer, grant-descriptions and Title I itself can often be open to varying interpretations. Hence, using grant money without the proper documentation to support its uses can result in finding that funds were not spent in accordance with applicable law, regulations and cost principles.

As a result of the audit, and based on the number of findings the district does not plan on appealing, the district will need to return approximately $2,000,000. However, due to the district’s currents fiscal crisis, “the state has indicated a willingness to enter into a payment plan over several years” rather than requiring the district to make out a check for the bulk amount.

The Board will have about a month to decide if it wishes o appeal some of the findings, Zitomer said. [TLS]

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14 COMMENTS

  1. “Funds were not spent in accordance with applicable law, regulations and cost principles.”

    So where is the missing 2,000,000??

  2. n regards to the various findings of improper use of Title I funds, says Zitomer, grant-descriptions and Title I itself can often be open to varying interpretations. Hence, using grant money without the proper documentation to support its uses can result in finding that funds were not spent in accordance with applicable law, regulations and cost principles.

    it sounds funny if all that is missing is some documentation go back and document it exactly what you did with it. This seems to be somewhat misleading their excuse. If you really did spend it properly and the only issue was documents that should be correctable

  3. Doesn’t sound right – 4 million is still unaccounted for – 2 million in grants carried over without documentation? Come On !!!! and what did they do with 400 or 760 ipads?

  4. boruch hashem Christie implemented a2% cap otherwise we wouldn’t have this audit ant 4 million would be ten million in no time and our taxes would keep going up

  5. well said Josh:
    we owe Christie a big thank you for the property tax cap. if not for that, we the ordinary tax paying citizens would be in deep trouble

  6. The I pads were bought with state and federal grant money. That means me as well as people in every other state in the nation will be paying for these. Since some of the I pads are missing, I would like a refund, please. Or at least give me one of the I Pads. I cannot afford one

Comments are closed.