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Emporia school board discusses audit suggestions, budget update

USD 253 school board members discussed some interesting recommendations made by a state audit committee during their regular meeting Wednesday.

Superintendent Theresa Davidson updated the board on the recent Legislative Post Audit Committee report, which details ways school districts can be more efficient. Among the ideas they listed for Emporia are switching to procurement cards, going to a single food-service program, and changing up the class schedules at the middle school and high school.

Davidson says they also offered "high impact" recommendations to move sections of Turning Point Academy to other district buildings, or close it altogether. Davidson says that would be a rash decision.

Another suggestion given was to revamp the food service program by eliminating redundancies within -- or about 14 workers. Davidson says it would be "vastly premature" to eliminate any positions without further study, and that those people are still needed in the district. Kansas State Department of Education guidelines say Emporia's food service program is overstaffed, but Davidson says the program, and the entire district, is operating efficiently.

The district was picked at random after no volunteers were found for the audit.

In other business, Assistant Superintendent for Business Operations Rob Scheib says the budget has been completed and vetted by the State Department of Education, and returned with a clean bill of health.

Scheib says the education funding bill recently passed, meant to restore K-12 education funding, could be very beneficial to Emporia schools. The district will get a $14 increase in base state aid per pupil. On the flipside, funding for at-risk and part-time students has disappeared. The supplemental general fund and capitol outlay fund have both been restored as well. The next public budget meeting is Aug. 13.

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