A fraud controls discussion and a review of how local schools used federal payroll funds are to come before the Monroe County School Board when it meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the district board room Key West.
The meeting will be broadcast online at http://www.keysschools.com.
Finance Director Beverly Anders will discuss the school district’s fraud prevention measures, which include defined roles and responsibilities; defined processes that require documentation; and financial audits each year and operational audits every three years. Anders pointed out the district has received a designation of excellence in financial reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International six years in a row.
Several local charter schools applied for federal Paycheck Protection Program monies and school board member Sue Woltanski sought to learn how much each received and how the funds were spent, particularly since the district has financial agreements with charter schools. A presentation is to share that five schools received money and how they used it.
Ocean Studies Charter School in Key Largo received $114,452 but returned the full amount to the Small Business Administration on May 6, according to meeting agenda documents.
Treasure Village Montessori in Islamorada received $285,458, which it used for payroll, although using the monies toward rent is a possibility as well.
Big Pine Elementary Academy received $205,392.55 and used it for payroll and to cover 11 weeks of lost revenue from private pay services such as pre-kindergarten for three-year-olds, voluntary pre-kindergarten aftercare and Eagle’s Nest, which funds the salaries, health care, retirement benefits and building lease of its Big Pine Elementary Early Learning Center.
“All staff continued to work and provide online live instruction daily to the PK3 and VPK students at no cost to the parents,” said Big Pine staff. “Not a single employee had an interruption in pay.”
The loan is in the forgiveness application process.
May Sands Montessori received $215,900 and used the funds for payroll costs, including benefits as permitted among the list of eligible expenses. It also applied for loan forgiveness. Sigsbee Charter School received $798,321.20, which covered 2.5 months of payroll, and its loan forgiveness application is in process. Sigsbee says that funds are currently unencumbered for COVID-19 expenses, along with nine-and-a-half additional staff members — to keep on-campus numbers compliant with Centers for Disease Control guidelines — and additional classrooms, as well as for cafeteria employee costs to implement the federal free breakfast and lunch program.
At approximately 5 p.m. the swearing-in of board members Mindy Conn and Andy Griffiths, who were unopposed in the November election, will occur. Then, the board will elect a new chair and vice chair. Currently, John Dick is the vice chair, and may be chosen as chair through 2021, which is his final year of service before being termed out.
Action items on the agenda include approval of an additional procurement card to only be used for payment as part of the monthly accounts payable process, budget summary reports, salary schedule for 2020-2021, supplemental design agreement for Sugarloaf School workforce housing to be built by Gorman and Company, and a contract award for elevator inspection services.
The board also is to hear about substitute teacher recruitment and may approve waiving the fingerprinting and background check fees for applicants.