The state auditor’s office in Mississippi said Monday that it has found “alarming” spending practices in the Hinds County School District.
Auditor Shad White said in a news release that the district has kept poor control of its credit cards and bank accounts. He said an assistant superintendent was responsible for more than $50,000 in improper spending, including starting a contract for a personal “car allowance” without permission from the district’s school board.
The auditor also said the district spent $2 million for electronic tablets and laptop computers without taking competitive bids.
“This uncontrolled and unlawful administrative spending is not acceptable,” White said. “It shortchanges teachers and students. It’s not fair for taxpayers. They all have a right to be angry about this kind of administrative spending. It results in money going outside the classroom and it violates our spending laws.”
The Hinds County School District, which has about 5,600 students, said in its own statement it has been working with the auditor’s office for several weeks. The district says it is reviewing and revising its own financial policies and practices and is training staff members who deal with money.
“We are proud to report that the district remains on strong financial footing,” the school district statement said in the release from its communications director, John Neal. “We will continue our efforts to safely and effectively invest and spend public funds to ensure every student in HCSD has access to the resources they need to succeed.”
The district has students from small towns outside the capital of Jackson: Bolton, Byram, Edwards, Raymond, Terry and Utica.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info