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Harrisburg School District confirms surplus - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg School District confirms surplus; still not sure on what to do with it

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The Harrisburg School District announced Monday night that an audit confirmed an $11 million surplus in the district.

But what the district will do with that money still has not been decided.

Teachers repeated calls for the district to pay back the five percent that had been cut from their pay before the surplus was discovered.

School Recovery Officer Gene Veno said that is being considered but it has to be figured out. He said has to make sure that restoring the pay wouldn't hurt the district five years down the road.

"Plus we want to do, as you heard, full-time kindergarten," said Veno. "Plus I don't think the taxpayers of this community should have to bear another tax increase in 2014, nor 2015 if at all possible."

"We just want the five percent back that they took from us. That, in my opinion, they stole from us," said teachers' union leader Sherri Magnuson. "I want it back. so do my members. So do the cafeteria ladies. So do the custodians. I mean every single person wants that money back and they deserve it back."

Veno said the final decision on what to do with the funds will be announced next Tuesday.

Veno said the audit found that surplus was caused by aggressively conservative accounting principles.

"They've been through many different changes in business office managers," Veno said, adding that they have a new system in place. "They've had closures of schools. They've had layoffs. So when you start to look at expenditures over the last four years, some of them are not going to be caught."

But Magnuson said this was an egregious error that ended up costing some of her members their jobs.

"At some point in time somebody has to be held accountable and when it's something this major, the district had an opportunity to do so and all they did was demote the person which I think is dead wrong," Magnuson said.

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