Improvements Needed in Management of Recovery Funds at Three Public School Districts
BOSTON, MA —State Auditor Suzanne Bump today issued three audits of local school districts (Oxford, Hudson, and Marshfield), each finding the school system lacked documented policies to ensure federal grant money is being spent properly and safeguarded from loss, theft, and misuse.
From the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, all three schools were awarded between $400,000 and $1.2 million in federal funds by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Under federal guidelines for the administration of ARRA funds, school districts and other government agencies are responsible for establishing a documented system of internal controls specific to the ARRA grants. When auditors reviewed each school’s management of ARRA funds, neither Oxford, Hudson, nor Marshfield had formalized such policies.
The three school districts were awarded the following ARRA funds:
School District Total Award
Oxford Public School District $459,249
Hudson Public School District $694,946
Marshfield Public School District $1,071,225
Auditor Bump has called on the Oxford, Hudson, and Marshfield school districts to update their policies to comply with ARRA guidelines. Each school district has responded positively to the findings and is pursuing implementation of Auditor Bump’s recommendations.
Normally, the Office of the State Auditor’s (OSA) does not audit local school districts, but as a full partner in state government’s oversight of ARRA funds, the OSA has been conducting school district audits specific to their management of the federal grants.