Have You Seen Rondout Valley’s Missing $44,000 Saxophone?
The Office of the New York State Comptroller recently conducted an audit of the Rondout Valley Central School District in Ulster County, NY, with some staggering results.
Not only did the comptroller's office find nearly $80,000 worth of undocumented inventory during their audit, but they were unable to locate over $200,000 worth of items that should have been present on school campuses, including what may be the most expensive instrument in New York public school history.
Audits of New York State School Districts
Audits like the one recently conducted at Rondout Valley are one way the government can determine if school districts are making the best use of their resources, specifically high-dollar "fixed" items that range from property and maintenance equipment to computers and band instruments.
Rondout Valley Central School District Audit
The 14-page report began by detailing items found on school property that were not on any school inventory lists. In total, $79,383 worth of property ranging from an $18,819 mounted kitchen hood fan to a $1,040 teacher's desk were not found on any asset list. Perhaps more concerning were the items that were supposed to be found on school property that are still unaccounted for.
"Assets That Could Not Be Located" at Rondout Valley Central School District
The list of missing items, with a value totaling $213,960, was mostly comprised of band instruments. These high-dollar items included a French horn valued at $22,600, a trombone listed at $33,180, and an alto saxophone with a listed worth of $44,860. A $6,230 refrigerator, a $6,310 snowplow, and a $7,220 tractor could not be located as well.
Other Findings by New York State Comptroller's Office
Other findings included items with multiple asset tags, inventory that was thrown away without proper approval, and an ineffective "comprehensive physical inventory" plan that auditors believed helped lead to both missing and non-listed items.
Rondout Valley Central School District Responds to Audit
Rondout Valley Central School District Superintendent Joseph Morgan thanked the comptroller's office for their report, calling the recommendations "critical steps towards improving our fixed assets tracking systems", and vowing that a "Corrective Action Plan responsive to recommendations is currently being developed".