State audits again find problems in spending by Seattle Public Schools

Jessica Blanchard:

or the seventh year in a row, state audits of Seattle Public Schools highlighted some questionable expenses and persistent payroll problems.
The audits, released Monday, noted about $23,890 worth of questionable expenses from the 2006-07 school year. In one case, a former school district secretary forged her supervisor’s signature to get paid for nearly 300 hours of overtime that she had not worked, costing the district more than $8,700. The district fired her.
In another case, auditors found that more than $15,100 in Associated Student Body money was used improperly to pay for plane tickets to bring South African exchange students and teachers to Seattle as part of a high school foreign-exchange program.
The district also was faulted for paying some Seattle high school students participating in the exchange program approximately $25,000 up front for travel expenses to South Africa and Ireland. The district should have reimbursed them later, auditors said, and shouldn’t have covered some improper purchases made during the trips — including alcoholic drinks and host gifts.