Administrators at the East Valley School District are trying to figure out what to do about a clerical error that could end up costing them nearly $1.5 million. The money was for 25 new buses, but after the error could cost them the money for 13 of those buses.
So how could this happen?
“For me it was a breakdown within the system,” said East Valley Superintendent Kelly Shea. He says the mistake never should have happened and the district is taking full responsibility.
In 2015 voters approved a $3 million transportation levy that would buy 25 brand new school buses for the next two years, but earlier this year the district discovered that the county hadn’t been collecting any of the levy funds.
“Basically we thought that we had done what we needed to do with the county to make sure that they would collect that, but that was not the case,” Shea said.
After speaking with the County Assessor, Treasurer and even the Attorney General, the district has narrowed their choices on what to do next to two options. Collect the $1.5 million in 2017 to buy 12 new buses, or collect $3 million over a one year instead of two to buy 25 buses.
“We could lose that $1.5 million,” Shea said.
The school district will now hold two public meetings to take comments from voters on what option they should take. Ultimately the decision on what the district does will be up to their five-member school board. Those two meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 27 and Thursday, Sept. 29 at the East Valley High School library. Both meetings start at 6 p.m.
“It is a mistake that we’re taking responsibility for. It’s a mistake we’ve identified, we’ve corrected it, and it’s a mistake that we won’t make again.”