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Johnstown School District responds to audit after not being able to account for $8.7 million

By: WJAC Web Staff

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Tuesday night the superintendent from Johnstown School District Dr. Gerald Zahorchak, responded to an auditor generals report released in Dec. by stating the $8.7 million unaccounted for over the last 10 years isnt missing but rather a lack of verification and internal control.

Zahorchak said after the auditor general released its report in Dec.; the school district has implemented its recommendations like changing the bus routes and added personnel to verify accounts.

The district said its saving more than $200,000 with its transportation contract and also approved an outside transportation group as per the recommendations.

In December, DePasquale said in the latest school district audit covering the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years, the district didnt maintain documentation to support $2.3 million in state transportation reimbursements.

DePasquale said over a five-year period, the expenses of the transportation contractor, which was not named, increased by approximately 61 percent, the state reimbursement went up approximately 4 percent, and the amount to cover the difference locally went up 266 percent.

The audit was conducted by the Auditor Generals Bureau of School Audits and examined public school districts, charter schools, intermediate units, and vocational-technical schools records. Audits done by the office assess whether districts or schools accurately manage taxpayer funds, state subsidies and state reimbursements.

"Taxpayers in the greater Johnstown area are getting clobbered. The district needs to do everything it can to ensure that as much funding as possible is going into classroom education," DePasquale said.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times