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PTO to repay gate funds

November 19, 2009
By J.T. Whitehouse
A recent financial audit for Poland Schools revealed funds that were unknowingly placed in the wrong account. A plan is being worked out to fix the situation, according to Poland Superintendent Dr. Robert Zorn.


The situation came to light during an annual state audit. Zorn said the auditors could easily spend an entire year going through the books, but they actually only spend a couple of months and during each audit they look at different areas. During the last audit, they focused on the athletic department and discovered something was not right.


Zorn said it involved between $3,500 and $3,700 that was written as a donation to the PTA.


He explained that a few years ago, the athletic department was having trouble getting ticket-takers for the middle school football and basketball games. The athletic department struck a deal with the PTA (later to become the PTO) to provide ticket takers and in exchange the group could keep the money they raised to use for PTA projects. The volunteers were lined up and the money was collected. The money went into the Athletic Department and was donated to PTA and the check was listed as a donation.


“They meant well, but you can’t put money into the wrong fund,” Zorn said.


He said the whole situation was an honest mistake and that no money was missing. The topic was discussed at length during Monday’s work session of the Poland Board of Education and the PTO now has two options, according to Zorn. They can either write a check for the full amount, or they can arrange to make payments until the money has all been moved back to the Athletic Department. The PTO is presently working out a plan and the auditor will be contacted for approval.


“They have to pay it back,” Zorn said. “They meant well and there is no money missing. It was just in the wrong account.”


He said the PTO records fall under a parent organization and the auditor doesn’t actually look at their records in a school audit. He said the PTA members and Athletic Department at that time felt they were doing a good thing.
 
 

 

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