Auditor General DePasquale Finds Marked Improvement at Susquehanna Township School District; Encourages More Progress


May 02 2019
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Auditor General DePasquale Finds Marked Improvement at Susquehanna Township School District; Encourages More Progress

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HARRISBURG (May 2, 2019) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said his latest performance audit of the Susquehanna Township School District in Dauphin County shows marked improvement.

“My team found significant improvement from the last audit, which detailed the impact from the board and former superintendent not being able to work together to achieve the best outcomes for students,” DePasquale said. “I am pleased to see the current board and superintendent appear to be working in a professional manner to provide the best opportunities and education for its students, which is exactly what they should be focused on doing.”

The current audit, covering July 1, 2013 through June 20, 2017, contains one finding and three recommendations.

“There is always room for improvement, but it is good to see that the district is making progress and gaining momentum in many of the areas where my previous audit highlighted concerns,” DePasquale said, noting that the Reading School District demonstrated an “unprecedented turnaround” following his audit recommendations; the Uniontown Area School District used the latest audit to improve school safety plans; the School District of Lancaster and Crestwood School District corrected errors with bus driver certifications based on audit findings; and the Pittsburgh City School District avoided a tax increase because of an audit report.  

By comparison, the 2014 audit of the Susquehanna Township School District had four findings and 38 recommendations. It had found the district failed to consistently follow and update board policies, had high turnover in key administrative positions, and legal costs had increased substantially due to internal legal disputes.

The new audit’s sole finding involves the failure to conduct all required monthly fire drills.

The fire drill reports for the 2017-18 school year disclosed the district failed to conduct fire drills each month and that the district did not maintain documentation to support fire drill data reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) at three of its four buildings. Without supporting documentation, auditors could not verify the accuracy of the data reported to PDE for these three buildings.

“It is encouraging that since my audit, the district has developed internal controls to make sure those fire drills are completed and appropriately documented,” DePasquale added. “Clearly, districts need to make certain that fire drills are performed as required by law to ensure the safety of students and school staff.”

Review the Susquehanna Township School District audit report and learn more about the Department of the Auditor General online at www.paauditor.gov.

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