- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - The Greenwood School District spent more than $280,000 responding to a Mississippi Department of Education audit.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports (http://bit.ly/1sWpMH2 ) the figure was presented to the school board this past week by Superintendent Montrell Greene. The expenses include lawyers’ fees, modifications to school buildings and staff overtime costs.

The Department of Education’s unannounced audit of the district - conducted last spring - resulted in a highly critical report that detailed numerous alleged deficiencies in the district. Based on the report’s findings, the Department of Education recommended a state takeover of the district.

A state commission voted against a takeover, instead allowing the district more time to correct violations noted in the report.

The report’s findings have since been cleared, and the district’s accreditation was fully restored in December.

Greene says legal fees totaled $86,000. The district also wound up paying about $34,000 in employee overtime, as district administrators and staff worked to inspect files and facilities and prepare a formal response to the charges.

The district also spent approximately $100,000 installing a second means of exit in numerous district classrooms. Auditors had noted the lack of a second emergency exit in the audit report.

The district also retained a number of consultants in connection with the audit at a cost of just over $66,000, according to the financial report.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, http://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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