If the school board had done some homework, would Ballowe still have his job?

He must be very satisfied at this mornings news that an accounting error has finally been found. The money was never missing. It was “lost” in the years 2004 through 2006. Some people thought the loss was $8 million dollars. The Gainesville Times editorial staff commented on that huge number in July of 2008. All school systems were facing rising costs, for everything from fuel for buses to health care benefits for employees and more. Plus, legislators like Representative Carl Rogers were letting the GOP gut school budgets.

Questions were raised in March 2007 about huge decreases in tax revenues. Carl Rogers recently took credit for knowing about the “short fall” but wouldn’t tell the public how he knew. He also took credit for two state cuts in the city school budget totaling $1.2 million.

Representative Rogers, speaking for the Hall County delegation, said the school system still needed an independent audit. Someone please tell Carl the audit was finished in August of this year. The issues, the auditors noted, “happened between June 30, 2007 and June 30, 2008. But many of those issues are being addressed and some have been resolved.”

So if Carl Rogers knew all that he says he knew in March of 2008, why did he let the GOP gut another $1.2 million in school funds?

Taxpayers should be asking why the auditors aren’t being fired like Steve Ballowe? The auditors didn’t find the $1.2 million in funds. They missed that little, tiny, teensy accounting error. Fire them.

We may never know what combination of financial errors; rampant expenses for things like heat, lights, and diesel fuel; and reckless state tax cuts caused the unknown amount of ‘budget shortfall.’

We know the superintendent, Steven Ballowe, was the only person fired. We know the teachers continue to endure pay cuts. We know the kids didn’t get a benefit from the cuts and controversy.

We are left wondering just what we will know tomorrow.

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