Audit finds no problems in Cape Girardeau School District

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The annual audit of the Cape Girardeau School District during Monday night's special work session revealed a school system that is on sound footing, school officials said.

"We're very solid," said superintendent Dr. James Welker. "The audit produced no adverse findings in the way the district conducts its business. The district is in good shape."

As a whole, total assets for the school district in Fiscal Year 2012 amounted to more than $95 million against $55 million in total liabilities. The figure for the assets represented an increase of more than $1.6 million as compared with the last fiscal year, and the liabilities are also down more than $4.5 million by comparison.

The Cape Girardeau accounting firm of Stanley, Dirnberger, Hopper and Associates LLC. conducted the independent audit for the school district. Patrick Kitner, a CPA with the firm, presented the audit to the board and noted that, while communication regarding certain expenditures among its various schools and projects should be improved, the district is in a fine position.

"The district is in compliance with state law governing its budget," he said. "Its policies and procedures are sufficient to meet the district's needs."

Federal funding to the school district, however, will be reduced by July unless Congress acts to provide funding for education.

Gerald Richards, federal-funds coordinator for the district, said the district will see either an 8 percent reduction in federal funding, amounting to a loss of more than $118,000, or of 12 percent, which equates to more than $173,000.

"Unless we hear different," Richards said, "we can expect the funds to be reduced, or sequestered, by no later than July of next year."

Other business

* During the regular meeting of the school board, Deena Ring, special services director for the district, gave evaluations for the special programs in place to help certain segments of the student population.

Ring said the gifted program, which consists of 198 students, is meeting minimal state requirements; the English Language Learners program is reaching its goals and is made up of 83 students that share 21 different languages among them, mainly Spanish; Parents as Teachers, part of the district's Early Childhood Development program, has 216 students involved, but has seen a decrease in numbers because of a loss of parental involvement and children moving on to kindergarten; and the district's preschool program is now in four of the five elementary schools, and is taking shape with 138 students.

* The board also heard from James Pitker of McCarthy Construction, who reported that the new Performing Arts Center at the high school is coming along as scheduled. Pitker said that 75 percent of the exterior is finished and the interior is nearing completion. Concrete for the auditorium will be poured in December, with carpeting and seating installed in January. The center will seat about 1,100 people, and was financed by $40 million in bonds approved by voters in 2010.

klewis@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

301 N. Clark St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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