The Chewelah School District recently passed an audit for the 2014-15 school year from the Washington State Auditor’s office with no major deficiencies. The district, which received a total of $9.2 million in state and federal funds for the 842 students enrolled that year, invested an average of $10,942 in each student. Revenues included $1.1 million from local sources, $6.9 million from the state and $1 million from the federal government. An additional $127,200 in revenues came to the district via other school districts for providing transportation and other services.
Expenses including instruction, bussing, building maintenance and debt service totaled $8.9 million for 2014-15, leaving a balance of $314,077 in savings. Business Manager Michele Wright said the excess funds each year are held in savings for future use.
The only item of note on the state auditor’s report was a reminder to the district that for some federal food programs all purchases over $3,500 have to go out to bid. Wright said that step was missed in 2014-15 due to a misunderstanding by staff that the minimum amount for bid was $40,000. However, even with putting food service contracts out to bid, Wright said the small number of food vendors in the area means current purchasing arrangements will likely stay the same.
“The problem with this finding is that most of these vendors are the only supplier in this area,” said Wright. “In the next month we will be placing an ad for bids on our dairy, bakery and produce items. This will meet the federal requirement.”
Food supply vendors for CSD in 2014-15 included URM Stores, Terry’s Dairy, Tools for Schools, Franz Family Bakeries, American Produce Express and Food Services of America.
CSD does not contract out food preparation in the district, but maintains one full-time employee and three part-time employees in the food service department. CSD’s food service expenditures in 2014-15 totaled $339,000.
By Jamie Henneman / The Independent Staff