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Audit Faults Management In East St. Louis District

The cash-strapped East St. Louis, Ill., school system squandered tens of thousands of dollars last year through poor payroll management and sloppy record-keeping, an audit has found.

In a report released last month, the auditors recommended an overhaul of the financial management of the district, which has been placed under state oversight. (See Education Week, Feb. 15, 1995.)

The audit found, among other problems, that the district allowed employees to take too much paid sick leave, gave termination pay to people who were ineligible for it, and let at least 26 employees draw salaries the school board had not approved.

Showdown Ends in Baltimore

The Baltimore school board has capitulated to the state's demand that it reconstitute, or completely reorganize, three troubled schools.

In return, the Maryland state school board has agreed to consider changing the state's school-reconstitution law to address the concerns raised by Baltimore officials.

The agreement last month ended a standoff in which the district resisted the state's reconstitution orders and the state denied the district an appeal hearing. (See Education Week, Feb. 15, 1995.)

The district had complained that the state ordered reconstitution without examining the schools or taking their impoverished student populations into account.

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