Auditor questions missing school equipment

Computers and other equipment were unaccounted for at a Baton Rouge school formerly overseen by Advance Baton Rouge, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office said Monday.

The school is Glen Oaks Middle, which was overseen by ABR from 2008 until it was moved to the state-run Recovery School District last year.

It is one of five Baton Rouge schools formerly run by ABR, which was started as a non-profit to help turnaround failing public schools. But the report said there were problems for the financial year that ended on June 30 of last year.

“A number of the items listed on the property and equipment ledger, including but not limited to laptop computers, computer monitors and iPads could not be identified, located or otherwise accounted for,” the review says.

It says accounting and custodial controls over school property and equipment were lacking, including identifying tags linking assets on the property list to the actual asset items.

The auditor’s office did not say how much the property that is unaccounted for is worth.

Joy Irwin, director of local government services, noted that audits typically focus on a sampling to see if a problem exists rather than trying to account for the total.

The report makes no recommendations since the school was turned over to the RSD last year.

John Spain, treasurer of the group, made the same point in a response letter.

Glen Oaks Middle was one of five schools that ABR was authorized to run by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

About 280 students attended the school in grades six to eight.

The others are Prescott Middle School, Pointe Coupee Central High School, Dalton Elementary and Lanier Elementary.

All five were turned over to charter operators, and now the RSD, after years of academic failure.

Glen Oaks Middle School Principal Staughton Jennings said Monday he has not read Purpera’s report.

RSD officials did not respond to a request for comment.