State Board Reviews Hampshire County Audit

April 15, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) accepted a Hampshire County school system report during its monthly Board meeting on April 13 – 14, 2005. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Improvement Consultant Team compiled the report.  

“The Board of Education has a responsibility to all the students of West Virginia,” said Board President Barbara Fish. “It is evident that Hampshire County has some financial and personnel discrepancies. I can only hope that the county will fix its problems within the six month window provided via state school policy.”  

“The WVDE Improvement Consultant Team’s key task was to review whether Hampshire County schools followed West Virginia Code, Board policy and federal guidelines,” said Assistant State Superintendent Jack McClanahan. “This report is not based on innuendo and rumor. The findings are factual.”  

Some of the more serious findings include the discovery that federal migrant grant funds were misspent in 1999 and $35,000 of a $75,000 state grant was misspent. The later misspent funds must be returned to the state.  

“What has happened in Hampshire County is a breakdown of leadership,” said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart. “There was a lack of fiscal control. I am glad to hear that Hampshire County has already begun developing new county school policies as recommended by the Consultant Team.”  

The Consultant Team has recommended:

  • The Hampshire County school system revise and develop appropriate personnel and fiscal policies to reflect West Virginia law, WVBOE policies and federal regulations
  • All Hampshire County employees receive training on the new and revised policies and intensive training be provided to the Hampshire County Superintendent of Schools and staff members in the areas of personnel and fiscal policy implementation
  • The Hampshire County school system develop policies and internal procedures to insure that appropriate handling of state and federal grant funds
  • The Hampshire County school system address all of the licensing and certification issues identified in the OEPA Audit
  • The Hampshire County Board of Education members receive training on all personnel and fiscal policies
  • The Regional Education Service Agency establish internal fiscal controls to insure appropriate handling of federal grant monies

In February, the Board called for a state of emergency in Hampshire County Schools and unanimously voted to place Hampshire County Schools on non-approval status. The Board took the action after reviewing an Office of Education Performance Audit (OEPA) report that highlighted questionable financial practices and hiring practices in the Hampshire County District Offices. At that time, the Board also created the WVDE Consultant Team to further review the OEPA report.  

The consultant team, which visited Hampshire County Schools and Regional Education Service Agency VIII, consisted of 11 members with extensive knowledge of school procedures, school finance, school administration, personnel and certification.  

Click here to read the full report.

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