The Special Report on Athletic Expenditures for the year ending June 30, 2009, was reviewed by the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee May 14, 2010. This report is required by Arkansas Code Annotated §§ 6-20-2001 – 6-20-2104 for the purpose of enhancing accountability for athletic expenditures by public schools. Each school district’s reported athletic expenditure data is to be reviewed and evaluated by the Division of Legislative Audit at least once every five years.
The Special Report for 2008-2009 school year is posted on the Division of Legislative Audit’s web site at http://www.legaudit.state.ar.us/. The following link will take you directly to the report:
The report included 48 school districts with total reported athletic expenditures of $19.7 million. After review adjustments were made, the total increased to $23.1 million (14.7 percent increase). Athletic expenditures for 23 of the 48 districts had review adjustments in excess of 10 percent. Sanctions stated in section 8.06 of the Arkansas Department of Education’s Rules Governing the Arkansas Financial Accounting and Reporting System and Annual Training Requirements (attached) require any school district that submits erroneous data to the Arkansas Department of Education that causes a material misstatement of any student or financial information to receive a citation. A material misstatement is one in which the submitted data has more than a 5 percent variance from the correct data. If a material misstatement occurs for two consecutive years, the school district shall receive a probationary violation in the district’s Standards for Accreditation report issued by the Arkansas Department of Education. An additional eight districts exceeded the 5 percent variance threshold but had less than a 10 percent variance.
According to the Special Report, the primary inaccuracy involved the allocation of salaries and benefits between athletics and instruction. Section 5.00 of the Rules Governing Athletic Expenditures for Public School Districts (attached) provides the requirements pertaining to Salaries and Benefits for Coaches. These requirements were explained in an attachment to Commissioner’s Memo COM-07-096 dated March 28, 2007. The portion pertaining to the allocation of salaries and benefits is attached to this Commissioner’s Memo and provides an example of the allocation of salaries and benefits pertaining to a coach who teaches both athletic and non-athletic classes during the school day, is paid a coaching stipend, and also an extended contract for athletic duties. Also, please note that section 9.00 of this rule requires any school district failing to comply with the rules adopted by the state board for implementation of required reporting of athletic expenditures to be identified as in fiscal distress by ADE.
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