City auditor reports RPS is wasting millions of tax dollars

Posted at 8:25 AM, May 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-20 08:25:59-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- In a 41-page report released by the Richmond City Auditor to the Richmond School Board, there are several recommendations on ways the district can improve. The suggestions were made both in the report and during a board meeting Monday.

One such item, that may raise a few eyebrows among parents centers around the lack of record-keeping on where students are going on field trips. In some cases the details of field trips were not being documented. RPS took nearly 2,800 field trips last year and with some of the outings there was a lack of record-keeping. In fact, just the destination for the off school grounds trip served as the only documentation in some cases.

The auditor noted fewer field trips and less overtime could save the district close to $2 million.

The report also pointed out other ways, money was being wasted in the district. City Auditor Umesh Dalal informed the school board the number of textbooks being purchased exceeded the number of students enrolled. The cash-strapped district is said to have bought 4,075 more books than needed, at a price-tag of $375,481 from the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. The report goes on to point out during the 2012-2013 school year, only 19 of the total 50 schools submitted their annual textbook inventories. Additionally, at least 21 schools did not report inventories despite their staff receiving stipends ranging from $200 to $800.

As part of a solution, new software is being implemented to allow textbooks to be entered into a system via bar codes. The target date for the new software system is slated for September 2015.