Harrisburg School District missing ‘important’ financial records

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Harrisburg School District enters a 3-year partnership with the Montgomery  County Intermediate Unit #23. Officials say it will help fix the problems that sent the district into state receivership.

Big problems were found with the district not even 24 hours into the partnership. Important financial records for the district are missing.

"Right now, we have no confidence, or little confidence, in any of the dollar figures that have been available to us," said John George, Financial Recovery Partnership Director. "So, that's not a good position to be in. When you don't know how much money you have, nor do you know what your expenses are, it's kind of hard to do anything else."

George says the first step in getting the district back on its footing is building a solid foundation, and understanding where it sits financially.

"The first thing we need to do, is stop the hemorrhaging," said George. "We have to make sure that the good things here, good people don't leave, the processes don't fall apart any further. So, we have to stop the hemorrhaging."

Last week several positions in the district's administration, costing about $2 million of payroll, were eliminated. Receiver Janet Samuels says this 3-year, $1.4 million partnership with the intermediate unit will end up saving the district money. The intermediate unit will go through every position to determine if it's needed and necessary. They'll also make sure everyone is putting the best interests of students first.

"I think our parents, out students, staff members," said Samuel. when you think about demanding and deserving this change that's what this is about."

George and his team helped turn the Reading School District around about six years when the district was on the Commonwealth's lowest 15 percent achievement lists.

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