By Terri Jo Neff |
Six public school districts across Arizona are not in compliance with audit reporting requirements and face the loss of state education aid in the coming months, according to the Arizona Auditor General.
Five noncompliant unified districts were advised by Auditor General Lindsey Perry that they have until early January 2022 to rectify their audit issues. Those districts are: Grand Canyon Unified, Pinon Unified, Safford Unified, Show Low Unified, Whiteriver Unified.
Public records show all five districts have failed to submit audited financial statements and reports, as well as a Uniform System of Financial Records for Arizona School Districts (USFR) compliance questionnaire, for year ending June 30, 2020. The items were due Sept. 30, 2021
Those noncompliance notices come on the heels of an advisory issued by Perry’s office in September that the Morristown Elementary School District in Maricopa County did not substantially comply with the USFR following the submission of audit reports prepared by Dobridge & Company PC for the year ending June 2020.
“Our determination is based on the most significant deficiencies cited in the District’s audit reports and USFR Compliance Questionnaire,” Director Cristan Cable wrote on Sept. 21. “These deficiencies are included in the corrective action plan template we provided separately to you and District management.”
Morristown Elementary District’s governing board has until Dec. 21 to implement corrective action or face the loss of state aid.
But while those six districts have found themselves in hot water with the Auditor General, one district recently received good news. In an updated compliance report, the Elfrida Elementary School District in Cochise County is no longer in noncompliance with the USFR.
The noncompliance problem had led the Arizona State Board of Education in December 2019 to direct the Superintendent of Public Instruction to withhold three percent of Elfrida Elementary’s state aid until compliance was achieved.
“We have since received and reviewed the District’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 audit reports and USFR Compliance Questionnaire and reviewed additional FYs 2021 and 2022 records as of September 27, 2021. Based on our review of these documents, the District is no longer in noncompliance with the USFR,” Perry wrote to the State Board of Education.