Florence School District 1 removed from SC Department of Education fiscal watch list

Florence School District 1 off fiscal watch list

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Education has removed Florence School District 1 from the fiscal watch list.

While the fiscal watch is the state’s lowest level of concern, but Chief Financial Officer Laura Showe said it’s still not a place a district wants to find itself.

“It brings the auditing department from the state in, it brings more federal oversight from the state in,” she said.

FSD1 was placed on the watch list because it failed to correct money issues found by the state during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“When the state finds what they call a repeat audit, finding it draws great concern to them because it basically means the district wants to do their own thing and not be compliant,” Showe said.

Due to the financial issues, money that could’ve gone to students was instead going to increased audit fees.

Showe began her role last summer and began working with departments to create processes and make sure everything was being properly recorded.

“I cannot do a lot of things myself because I oversee, so in order to get the district in the right direction it was a collaborative effort from a lot of different departments and amongst my staff,” she said.

With the watch list now in the past, Showe said district leaders can focus more on students and less on financial problems.

“We have significantly reduced findings, our performance audit that came out and areas we weren’t addressing there,” she said. “We’ve put out a new student handbook for bookkeepers, we are providing so much more support to the finances of this district than what we have in the past.”

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