Audit reveals which schools don't make the grade

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An audit by the state comptroller?s office revealed that one Orange County school district didn?t quite make the grade in a very important area.

The Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central School District was cited as failing to get fingerprint-supported background checks for 27 employees and four contractors, all of whom had direct contact with students. The audit also reveals that over a dozen summer workers were hired without board authorization or approval.

School Superintendent Debra Jackson admits the audit was right in several areas where it claimed more diligence was needed, including personnel, payroll purchasing and information technology. However, she also stresses that all school staff ? including volunteers ? have been fingerprinted.

?The state comptroller's audit didn't find fraud or mismanagement, but our system of internal controls, including personnel, will need to be made tighter here,? Jackson said in a statement. ?[We will also] have a system of checks and balances. Corrective actions have begun.?

In 2005, state legislation was passed requiring every school district to be audited by March 2010. The audit of Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery schools was conducted in accordance with that law. It covers the period from July 2006 to November 2007.

Click here to see the state Comptroller's audit

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