Philadelphia School District Finds a Majority of Its Inventory Missing

The problems continue for the Philadelphia School District. Already looking at a doomsday scenario, the district is now missing $196,000 in property across 11 schools—about 67 percent of their inventory—in the form of “unlocated” (their word) computers, musical instruments, medical equipment, and, yes, snow blowers. City Controller Alan Butkovitz released the data today, saying in a press release, ““There appears to be a clear breakdown in the District’s procedures over its inventory, which reduced the ability to locate sampled property.”

In addition to the missing property, the report found that the District’s petty cash and student activity fund was short about $14,000 in a sample of cash from six schools—a 70 percent shortage overall. The report also suggests a need for “strong internal controls” to “reconcile the cash and investment accounts preferably on a monthly basis,” said Butkovitz in the release. District-wide, the student activity fund is worth more than $5 million.

Officials also found that the district failed to apply appropriate permissions to their Advantage IT General Controls, a software suite that helps with financial tracking and organization. As a result, a number of individuals had an “inappropriate’ level of access to make integral changes. For a district that’s currently operating $304 million in the red, it would seem that a budget deficit isn’t the only money problem with which to contend.