School board fixes one-cent budget error

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When Lincoln County School District officials say they keeptrack of every penny in their budget, they mean it.

In a year that has so far been filled with financial worries,school board members and district administrators enjoyed an overduelaugh as district business manager Cheryl Shelby transferred onecent from district funds to the federal Title IV fund to cover forAssistant Superintendent Letha Presley going overboard by a singlepenny when purchasing the Safe and Drug Free Schools curriculum.The school board approved the transfer at Monday night’smeeting.

Presley said she purchased the program – which is designed toreduce alcohol, tobacco and drug use among students – fromPrinceton Health Press for $4,568.40. However, the balanceremaining in her Title IV fund was $4,568.39.

Presley said she was unaware of the overspending until notifiedby Shelby, who apparently made the most of the situation.

“She called me in there and said I’d overspent,” Presley said.”I thought I was in trouble – I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve messedup.’ But when I walked in the office, she just startedlaughing.”

Presley said 25 percent of Title IV funds can carry over to thenext year’s budget, but school administrators often choose to spendthe entirety of the federal appropriation. The Safe and Drug FreeSchools program was Presley’s final Title IV purchase of the year,making the annual expenditure $18,911.01, which was one cent toomuch.