Invoices put city school board in tough spot

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Unapproved invoices have left the Selma City School Board with the chore of paying a $72,032.01 debt they didn&8217;t count on.

The debt stems from unpaid invoices for football equipment received from Riddell and yearbooks received from Jostens.

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The invoices for football equipment are from the years 2006 and 2007 and total $46,530.40.

The football equipment included mouth guards, shorts, nylon shirts, jerseys, pants and ankle braces.

Yearbooks received from Jostens are from 2004, 2005 and 2007 and total $25,501.61.

The debt will be paid out of the school system&8217;s general fund.

Maria Glover, chief financial officer for Selma City Schools, said staff members didn&8217;t follow proper procedure when they ordered equipment and yearbooks.

The school system requires coaches or sponsors to send requests for purchases to the principal. The principal sends a request to the superintendent. Once the superintendent approves the request, the purchase is ordered.

Dr. Verdell Lett-Dawson, the system&8217;s interim superintendent, said principals once allowed staff to order without following procedure.

Head football coach Brian Montgomery denies making unauthorized purchases.

Ordering a full-color yearbook in 2007 also contributed to the debt. Dawson said the seniors&8217; fee of about $40 did not cover the cost of the books.

The school also ordered too many yearbooks, which compounded the debt.

&8220;Yearbooks were ordered based on the number of people in the class, if they weren&8217;t paid for, too bad,&8221; said Dr. Anne Fitts, school board member.