New Castle News

September 13, 2012

School district loses transportation funds

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The New Castle school district’s transportation subsidy will be $19,000 less this year because of an audit finding.

Board member David DiGiammarino asked for an explanation at this week’s public work session.

Joe Ambrosini, the district’s business manager, explained the subsidy cut reflects back to the state Auditor General’s audit of the 2004-05 school year finances.

The district transportation office was responsible for reporting the number of students riding the bus on a given day, on the same day each month, he explained. However, the district instead had inadvertently chosen the day each month when the ridership was the highest.

As a result, “we got oversubsidized,” Ambrosini said. Now, years later, it’s payback time.

“They are taking that money off of us.”

However, instead of the district being charged the money, the Pennsylvania Department of Education withholds part of its transportation subsidy as a one-time deduction, Ambrosini said.

The district was supposed to receive about $790,000 for this school year, he said, but will get $19,000 less.

Although the district was notified of the audit finding a few years ago, it just received a letter a month ago from the department of education saying the money is being withheld this year, Ambrosini said.

The bus ridership is something auditors look at every time there is an audit, he added.

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