State audit addresses bookkeeping issues at Hanover schools

2013-03-19T17:30:00Z 2013-04-15T14:53:19Z State audit addresses bookkeeping issues at Hanover schoolsCarmen McCollum, (219) 662-5337

CEDAR LAKE | An Indiana State Board of Accounts audit of the Hanover Community School Corp. draws attention to several accounting and bookkeeping issues and an overdrawn textbook rental fund account in 2011.

The report, covering the period of July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, was released Tuesday.

According to the audit, the fund balance for the textbook rental fund was overdrawn $32,514 at June 30, 2011, but State Board of Accounts supervisor Ryan Preston said the account had a positive balance the following year.

The report also cited several instances when the textbook rental receipt information was not remitted to the school corporation in a timely manner. School corporation officials would then backdate the receipt to the deposit date instead of the date the information was received from the individual schools.

At Hanover Central High School, the audit indicated the athletic director authorized the order of 150 commemorative T-shirts in celebration of the high school boys baseball championship at a cost of $942 in June 2011. T-shirts were sold for $10 each, generating about $1,200, but collections from the T-shirt sales were not deposited into the high school bank account.

At Jane Ball Elementary School, the extracurricular account was commingled with the general fund account. The report says revenue generated by student activities was used to subsidize the expenditures made for teaching staff activities.

In its response, Hanover school leaders said while the textbook rental fund was overdrawn in June 2011, a deposit of $70,000 was made in January 2012 to offset the deficiency, and internal controls over textbook rental receipts would be put in place. 

The letter to the state, dated Jan. 23, 2013, also said "staff involved with the collection for the commemorative T-shirts has been replaced or reassigned. 

In addition to this audit, Preston said there will be two additional reports released soon specifically on Lincoln Elementary School and Hanover Central High School. He said the reports are under review.

The Hanover Community School Corp. has experienced upheaval in the last few months.

In December, the board placed its then-Superintendent Carol Kaiser on administrative leave with pay with no reasons provided. Kaiser resigned Dec. 28.

Consultant Richard Cook served as interim superintendent for a few months. Jim Thorne, a former Hobart assistant superintendent and Westville schools superintendent, was named interim superintendent in mid-February.

Effective Dec. 11, the board terminated Hanover Central High School bookkeeper Jennifer Grcich.

Former Hanover School Board member Pat Kocot lost re-election to Mary Pat Burkel in November. Former board President Dana Griner did not run for re-election, and her replacement in the 1st District was Dennis Wilkening. Mary Joan Dickson, who is now School Board president, was re-elected to her at-large seat. The other two board members, Julie Mueller and James Sakalaris, were not up for re-election.

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