Montclair Schools Announce Release of Audit Report & Management Report

schoolshome4The Montclair Public Schools District announced this week that it will make available on its website and proactively distribute the full report of the District’s annual mandatory audit report and the Auditor’s Management Report to the Montclair community.

The audit, which is a state-regulated requirement for each school district in New Jersey and a condition of the District’s federal aid, was conducted by the independent audit firm Nisivoccia, LLP, Certified Public Accountants, which has lead the District’s auditing for the last three years. The released 2013-2014 audit represents the first full year under Penny MacCormack in the position of Superintendent.

Raymond Sarinelli, CPA, the lead partner for Nisivoccia’s independent audit stated, “Having personally conducted the annual audit for the Montclair School District for the last three years, and seen firsthand the state of the District’s records, it is important for the community to understand that in the last year significant improvements have been made in the area of record keeping, processes, financial statements and the organization of information. Significant corrective action has been requested in the past and we were thrilled to see needed progress in this area.”

Among the central findings of the audit:
• The independent auditors did not make any modifications or revisions to any previous financial statements of the District for the 2013-2014 fiscal year and confirmed that there were no material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or material non-compliance.

• The District ended the year with no deficit balances and no line item over expenditures.

• The District continued to spend down the fund balance from a record high of $13.9 million on June 30, 2012, to $9 million on June 30, 2014, with no excess surplus.

• As the district prepares for the development of the 2015-2016 budget, and continues to address increasing expenses in the areas of special education costs, utilities and employee health benefits, it will also face the ongoing challenge of the state-mandated 2% Cap on the tax levy and a declining reserve account.

Results of the audit were first presented to the Board of Education at its monthly meeting right before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Those parties interested in the full audit report and auditor’s management report may now access the information at https://www.montclair.k12.nj.us/WebPage.aspx?Id=2230.

“Releasing all the District’s audit information proactively is crucial to building needed transparency within the community,” stated Montclair Public Schools Superintendent Penny MacCormack. “Whether or not you attended the audit presentation at the last Board meeting, I would encourage every parent to review the specifics now available. The proactive and public release of this audit shows firsthand that we will need to make difficult choices and set budget priorities. We need to join together this budget season, understand our realities and limitations and make the best choices for our schools.”

“The actions of the Superintendent should be celebrated. In addition to improving materially the quality and quantity of the district’s financial information released to the public, Dr. MacCormack and staff have made significant improvements to our financial affairs,” stated Board of Education President David Deutsch. “As the audit states, since taking office, Dr. MacCormack has developed much needed new processes and implemented a variety of operating efficiencies. With the release of the budget, it is important we all educate ourselves and come together to set our priorities for the future.”

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7 COMMENTS

  1. “The actions of the Superintendent should be celebrated. In addition to improving materially the quality and quantity of the district’s financial information released to the public, Dr. MacCormack and staff have made significant improvements to our financial affairs.”

    I don’t know what could have inspired this assertion by Deutsch, because it certainly wasn’t reality. The idea that MacCormack has exercised fiscal responsibility and wisdom during her tenure as our superintendent is laughable.

    Consider the facts:

    – $500K for failed quarterly assessments and their associated curriculum
    – $100K for a Tripod Study, the results of which have never been shared with the district
    – $130K for legal bills associated with the leak of MacCormack’s assessments (the leak was caused not by a hacker but by a non password protected server)

    Deutsch is a numbers man, but when it comes to MacCormack, negative numbers (and losses) become positive numbers (and celebration-worthy feats).

    Full details: https://patch.com/new-jersey/montclair/penny-maccormacks–robin-kulwins-dishonestcareless-spending–do-we-pay-the-bill-or-question-it

  2. Has anyone wondered why the board approved all this spending? Millions of dollars gone?? Millions?? Seriously- “The actions of the Superintendent should be celebrated. In addition to improving materially the quality and quantity of the district’s financial information released to the public, Dr. MacCormack and staff have made significant improvements to our financial affairs”
    WHAT ARE THE SIGNIFICANT improvements? I would like to know what the board president is talking about. Sure he thinks it was a good job by Penny- he approved it all. We have an excess number of administrators particularly at 22 Valley- and the surplus is gone- all gone- the improvements to the infrastructure of the internet was only done because of the implementation of the PARCC which not doesn’t count for four years. Climate in the schools is horrible. Class sizes are huge, facilities are old and the only thing new are hundreds of chrome books. What exactly did Penny bring to this district except some of her cronies and a spirit of discontent throughout the district?? The board needs to go. The department heads need to go back to the classroom. Eliminating these positions and some of the others Penny needed would save a couple of million at least. What exactly is a Chief talent officer? Chief financial officer? We need to go back to being a school district and not some Broad scholar experiment gone bad. The only celebration we should have in Montclair is the day Penny pulls out of the parking lot of 22 Valley for the last time. And takes her friends with her.

  3. I am not sure what we really expected from Dr. MacCormack or from Mr. fleischer, when they were hired for Montclair Superintendent and Business Administrator,opps Chief Operations Office. MacCormack was hired without the proper certification when she came to Montclair. She had to obtain the proper certification once she was hired. The BOE claimed that MacCormack’s lack of certification was only a technicality, since she did not reside in New Jersey. That is not true. MacCormack was never a school superintendent, anywhere, before coming to Montclair. She was a supervisor in Conn. She had NEVER worked on or put together a school budget before Montclair. MacCormack was hired as a Trainee, with no superintendent experience.
    THE SAME IS TRUE FOR Brian Fleischer, he has never been a school Business Administrator before Montclair. He was an accountant in NYC. Chief Financial Officer, no such title exist. Ours was the first budget he has ever done. Did not get his certification until recently. He too was hired as a Trainee, with no school business administrator experience. And yes, the BOE knew of their experienced, or rather lack of experience. Yet they hired them anyway.
    They don’t know budgets, so what did we get from our Trainees? Very little knowledge, but that was all they had to offer. We were had, we were hoodwinked, by our own BOE

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