Frequently Asked Questions about the State Audit
1. Would you describe the audit that was conducted on the Hazelwood School District by the State Auditor’s office?
The State Auditor's office conducts audits in accordance with standards contained in Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. A performance audit begins with survey work and may include a review of cash control procedures, expenditures, payroll, capital assets, vehicles and fuel usage, and compliance with state laws and district policies.
2. Why was the school district being audited?
Some members of the community had concerns after budget cuts in 2015.
3. What is the cost of the audit and who pays for the audit?
The District has not received an invoice as of yet from the auditor’s office, but the anticipated cost of the audit will be approximately $120,000-140,000. This money was not budgeted, but it will come out of the District’s general budget funds (tax payer dollars).
4. What was the timeline for the audit?
The Missouri State Auditor’s Office notified the District in April 2017 of the upcoming schedule for the audit. On May 2, 2018, State Auditor Nicole Galloway presented the results of the audit report to the Hazelwood School District community in a public meeting at Hazelwood Central High School Fieldhouse.
5. Did the District receive $95,000 in overpayments of state funds because of improperly calculated attendance hours?
Attendance hours were calculated using the District’s student information system, which counted a “C” (cut) as present when calculating the hours. This issue has been corrected so that a “C” will not receive any credit for attendance going forward.
6. Does the District provide a vehicle allowance for the superintendent and associate superintendent?
Yes, this is a part of their negotiated contracts. However, the associate superintendent’s contract will end with the employee’s retirement on June 30. Regarding the superintendent, vehicle allowances are common in such contracts. A survey of sixteen school districts in the St. Louis region indicated that thirteen of the sixteen include this contract component.
7. It was reported that a District employee stole $8,000, is this true?
District central office personnel, per Board of Education policy, investigated this incident and consulted with legal counsel. As the investigation revealed numerous rumors and innuendos, the District was unable to substantiate the source(s) of all missing monies which resulted in a lack of adequate proof to pursue restitution beyond that which was collected.
8. Why didn’t the district perform a comprehensive cost study for 2015 Chromebook computer project?
The District’s Technology Committee reviewed possible choices of cloud based offerings and decided on Chromebooks due to their ease of use, cost, and flexibility with Google applications for education. Several devices were reviewed, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Google and Toshiba. The lack of ability to lay the screen flat and avoid hinge breakage eliminated HP, Asus and Google’s own device at the time. The quotes received per device from Lenovo and Toshiba were more expensive than Dell and District technology staff were already certified on Dell hardware. The purchase was eventually completed under a state purchasing contract that did not require additional bidding.
9. Did the district write a $200 check to Trinity High School?
The check was not a donation but was participation in a community event to which the District has historically sent representatives.
10. I could not attend the meeting. Can I find more information about the audit?
You may obtain a copy of the audit report by clicking on this link. You may also view the video presentation of the audit online at www.hazelwoodschools.org. There is also a copy of a news conference lead by Board President Mark Behlmann and Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart on our website and on Charter Cable HSD TV #988: https://www.hazelwoodschools.org/Page/5660.