OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) - A routine audit of the St. Landry Parish School seems to have uncovered a case of missing technology, leading the system to file a police report.

That, along with a few other findings, highlighted the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's report, which was made public recently. The St. Landry Parish School Board does not appear to be contesting any of the findings and is expected to make any necessary corrections.

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But the discovery of the stolen technology - a piece of smart technology known as a Promethean Board - certainly raises a few eyebrows. It's not a small item one can simply walk away with.

Our news partners at KATC-TV 3 noted the auditor's findings on Monday.

"In his report, the independent auditor noted that in August 2022, officials discovered a Promethean Board (interactive whiteboard) had been stolen from Opelousas Middle School. Law enforcement was contacted, and a police report was filed. The board had not been recovered as of the date of the audit report," the audit summary states.

Also of interest: "The auditor also found that the school board failed to amend its budget when revenues of the Head Start and ESSER III funds and expenditures of the ESSER II funds exceeded the amount budgeted by more than 5%, as required by state law. In addition, the board was late in filing its financial statements with the Legislative Auditor’s office."

Credit: KATC
Credit: KATC

Promethean Boards serve as digital whiteboards in classrooms, ones that can connect to a teacher's computer or, in more recent models, come with their own operating system, which includes a web browser and key tools for aiding in classroom instruction. They aren't cheap, however, so if one comes up missing, it's a big deal.

Overall, the district did not have any major incidents in its audit, other than the two mentioned above. Most bodies will inevitably have small errors that occur but are easily rectified.

KATC made a note of some of the "exceptions" - incidents that violate standard protocols - including an employee who was lacking the necessary training and records that were not reconciled properly.

The rest of the audit - including dozens of spot checks of accounting, record keeping and other duties, found few "exceptions," or instances where things weren't done properly. The audit notes no exceptions in auditors' review of credit cards, payroll, travel accounts and the removal of terminated employees from the IT system.

Among the few exceptions found was one bank statement that hadn't been reconciled two months after it was received; an employee who hadn't received ethics training and a failure to provide the School Board with written updates about how staff was addressing findings from last year's audit. The audit also noticed that the board's finance committee had never received monthly budget-to-actual reports.

In a positive note for St. Landry Parish, revenue is up, and while spending was also up, it did not exceed the new revenue.

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