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Invoices put city school board in tough spot

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.

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.