Rockford Education Association reaction to auditors’ report

Editor’s note: TRRT requested a press release or statement from District 205 Communications Officer Mark Bonne on this issue,  but as in the past on Freedom of Information requests, TRRT received no release or statement.

From press release

The report issued today [March 1] by the accounting firm Baker Tilly confirms that the Rockford Education Association was right.

• Our school district underestimated revenue from state aid by $12 million—just as we said.

• Our school district underestimated revenue from Corporate Personal Property Replacement Taxes by $7.5 million—just as we said.

• Our school district overestimated expenditures for benefits by $2.7 to $4.88 million—just as we said.

• That’s over $22 million in errors, and that’s only looking at the limited scope of items that this review examined.

These figures, provided by an unbiased, credible accounting firm, have confirmed our assertions that the school district is wrong in its financial projections. The school district has put our community in crisis unnecessarily. The proposed school closings and program cuts are too deep.

Add to this that the Baker Tilly report says, “Mr. Lewis indicated that there is no detail forecast for fiscal year 2012…” Yet, the administration has asserted throughout this process that there would be a $50 million deficit next year if its recommendations were not approved. How can they still draw that conclusion?

The administration says that there are other issues that must be considered before dismissing its claims. We agree. From the beginning, we have said that we believe a much deeper look into the school district’s finances is warranted.

We know there are other areas of the budget and school finances that need be reviewed and searched for errors and omissions.

It is our intention to continue this effort to reveal truth with the transparency and trust this community deserves.

From the March 2-8, 2011, issue

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