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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2011

Auditor finds Bedford schools' general fund is larger than expected

School system receives high financial marks

Superintendent Ted Magrum said the extra money won't go far in the system. Superintendent Ted Magrum said the extra money won't go far in the system.
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TEMPERANCE -- The Bedford Public Schools' independent auditor has given the district's financial reporting a clean bill of health.

Peter Carlton, the district's CPA, told the Board of Education last week that his firm's examination found no deficiencies, weaknesses, or instances of noncompliance in the school system's books.

He described the Bedford schools as "a low-risk auditee," meaning there is a low risk that the district is not complying with laws and regulations. In the world of accounting, this is a favorable and reassuring designation.

Mr. Carlton is with the Monroe firm of Cooley Hehl Wohlgamuth and Carlton PLLC.

Superintendent Ted Magrum said he appreciated the opinion and noted that the audit had found a larger general fund balance than expected. The difference was almost $1 million.

This was welcome news at the strapped district, which is in deficit spending, but the unexpected money wouldn't go far, he noted. Projections show that falling enrollment will cost the school district about $350,000, Mr. Magrum said, and the new phone system about $31,000. The district's old system was destroyed by a lightning strike.

In other business, Jonathan Whan, assistant superintendent of instruction and student services, reported that Michigan's new scoring standard on state tests would lower the percentage of Bedford students considered proficient.

The state, he explained, had "raised the bar," and school districts across Michigan were trying to adjust.

The board approved a natural gas purchase from Lakeshore Energy Services for a lower-than-expected price of $4.79 per million cubic feet and accepted a donation of used exercise equipment for the senior high school weight room estimated to be worth $15,000.The donor was Southfork Building Services.

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