Commission finds no emergency exists in Wayne County School District

The audit found the Wayne County School District to be in violation of 22 out of 32 Process...
The audit found the Wayne County School District to be in violation of 22 out of 32 Process Standards.(WDAM)
Updated: Dec. 16, 2019 at 4:41 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation has determined that an extreme emergency does not exist within the Wayne County School District after a three-hour hearing in Jackson Monday.

The Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Accreditation presented evidence collected during a four-month audit of the school district, in which MDE found the district in violation of 22 out of 32 Process Standards.

MDE officials argued that state intervention was required to correct the issues found within the audit report, while WCSD officials argued that the district just needed time to correct violations outlined in the report.

The Commission went into executive session after hearing from both sides. After emerging from the session, the Commission unanimously voted that there was not sufficient cause to believe an extreme emergency situation exists within the school district.

You can watch the full hearing here.

MDE began the audit on Aug. 29 and delivered the report to school officials on Dec. 10.

The report said the district was found to be noncompliant with accreditation standards and in violation of state and federal education policy. Violations listed in the report range from errors in records keeping and reporting to failure to provide a safe learning environment for children.

The auditors claimed that Wayne County Superintendent Bobby Jones and the Wayne County School Board failed in their duties as leaders of the school district.

Highlighted in the report is the troubling financial situation facing the school district. The Mississippi State Auditor’s office presented findings on Nov. 22 from a financial audit of the fiscal year 2017, in which it was determined that a “serious financial condition" exists at the school district.

The State Auditor’s office said the Wayne County School District was financially unstable due to a lack of available cash. MDE’s audit report lists the district of having a maintenance fund deficit of $14,074,915 and a cash deficit of $7,513,374.

The report also alleged that the school district failed to provided “clean and sanitary facilities in a safe and secure environment," after on-site evaluations of six district schools and the Career and Technical Education Center.

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