Serious Financial Condition Lifted From Greenville Public Schools
(Jackson, Miss.) State Auditor Stacey Pickering met today with interim Greenville Public School District Superintendent and board members to inform them that the Serious Financial Condition Status placed on Greenville Public Schools in 2010 has been lifted. The State Auditor’s Financial and Compliance Audit Division previously notified the Mississippi Department of Education in June of 2010 that the School District was considered to be in serious financial condition which resulted in the Department of Education taking over the District and appointing a conservator. As a result of the Department of Education’s supervision, Greenville Public School District is no longer considered to be in serious financial condition following two consecutive audited financial reports that reflect a positive fund balance in the General Fund.
“Greenville Public School District has made huge strides under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Education since their audited financial reports for FY 2008 and FY2009 reflected at each year-end deficit fund balance in their General Fund,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “FY2011 Audit shows significant improvement and I am pleased to report the school district’s current fund balance in the General Fund is over $10 million. Anytime a school district is in Serious Financial Condition, the State Auditor works diligently with the Department of Education to ensure that the students and local taxpayers are protected. It is critical that we ensure our schools have the necessary funds to hire teachers, purchase textbooks and equipment. Mississippi’s school children’s quality of education should not have to suffer as a result of poor financial management.”
Under Mississippi Law, whenever the State Auditor determines the existence of a serious financial condition at a school district, the State Auditor must notify the Department of Education. Upon receiving the notice, the State Superintendent of Public Education must direct the school district to immediately cease all expenditures until a financial advisor is appointed by the state superintendent. The financial advisor is an agent of the State Board of Education and must be a certified public accountant or a qualified business officer. The financial advisor is responsible for all expenditures, ensuring compliance with State Law, reviewing salaries and the number of all district personnel and making recommendations to the Department of Education; work with the school district’s business office to correct all inappropriate accounting procedures and to prepare the school district’s budget for the next fiscal year; and report frequently to the State Board of Education on any corrective actions being taken and the progress being made.
Elected as Mississippi’s 41st State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering was re-elected as State Auditor in 2011 receiving over 75 percent of the vote in the November General Election. Since 2008, Pickering has recovered more than $5 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County. Auditor Pickering currently serves on the Domestic Working Group for the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States. He also serves on the Financial Management and Intergovernmental Affairs and Performance Audit Committees for the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and is a member of the National State Auditors Association. Throughout his political career, Pickering has made tremendous strides in creating more accountability and transparency in government and continues to promote fiscal responsibility and the need for more efficiency and productivity in government. For more information on Stacey Pickering, visit www.osa.state.ms.us/auditors-bio.htm <http://www.osa.state.ms.us/auditors-bio.htm> .
To view the press release online: http://www2.osa.ms.gov/forum/showthread.php?947-Serious-Financial-Condition-Lifted-From-Greenville-Public-Schools