- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers are trying to determine why widespread financial problems with district reporting are continuing after audits showed the state could owe some districts hundreds of thousands of dollars for over-reporting local revenue.

The Wyoming State Legislature’s Joint Education Committee will review audit findings at its meeting Tuesday in Jackson.

Officials say the audits show repeated issues with district reporting. Some of the errors were traced to districts inadvertently combining local, county and state revenue in reports filed with the state.

One of the worst cases cited by auditors was in Lincoln County School District 2, which state officials say over-reported local revenue by $1.6 million in the 2012-13 school year. Due to other errors the district in southwest Wyoming made resulting in an earlier overpayment by the state, the audit found that the state owed the district $1.3 million.

“I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I haven’t seen this happen until now,” said Justin Chavez, auditing manager for school district finance.

Chavez said it is unusual for problems like this to continue year after year, the Sheridan Press reported (https://tinyurl.com/qduza4x).

JC Inskeep, business manager for the district, said he believes the audit was too harsh.

“That report is snotty,” Inskeep said in a recent phone interview. “This one they were a little bit mad about, in my opinion.”

Inskeep said the state has also tried to change the rules, discounting work experience and higher academic degrees for teachers, staff and administrators that lead to higher pay.

Sheridan County School District 2 said it also has problems with state accounting.

Chavez said that some rules for reporting are clear and remain the same from year-to-year, but he acknowledged that some requirements are “a little bit muddier.”

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Information from: The Sheridan (Wyo.) Press, https://www.thesheridanpress.com/

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