For the last few months, I have updated Locker Room readers on the financial mess in Bertie County.  Simply put, the district spent a lot more money than they had and, by doing so, violated state law and crippled the district for years to come.

This month, district leaders are asking the N.C. State Board of Education to approve a plan to address their budget deficit.  Their budget deficits include:

  • General Fund Balance deficit of $704,995
  • Special Restricted Fund Balance deficit of $135,078
  • Negative net position of $45,992
  • Expenditures in excess of revenues by $1,332,614

A letter from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to Dr. Steven Hill, Superintendent of Bertie County Schools, details some of the reasons why the district’s finances suffered (not under his watch, by the way).

  • Commingling of restricted and unrestricted funds in one bank account
  • Numerous outstanding checks up to 20 years old*
  • Miscalculations of payments of state funds to terminated employees totaling $1,793 underpayment
  • Internal control weaknesses related to School Nutrition Program in the following areas:
    • Inventory management and asset tracking
    • Prepaid meal balances,
    • Local match for State Public School Fund paid school nutrition supervisors, and
    • Cash receipts
  • Improper payroll installment accruals
  • Individual Schools Account not being reconciled properly
  • Failure to complete and submit the Federal Data Collection forms since FY 2010
  • Absence of adequate compensating controls for Payroll and Accounts Payable Transaction Cycles Segregation of Duty issues


*Holy moly.