SCS Responds To Losing Track Of $48.4 Million In Equipment

(Shelby County) You work hard for your money, but the Shelby County School district can’t seem to keep up with the dollars you’ve entrusted to them.

Nearly $50 million in school equipment is missing.

That’s tens of thousands of items ranging from electronics to cars.

The school district says it’s combing over the audit to give it a second look, but it says big changes must be made because $48.4 million of missing school equipment is not acceptable.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopsons says the district is not properly managing its inventory.

“Some of it is human error. Some of it is theft. I think some of it is poor record keeping,” said Hopson.

Hopson says the district uses record keeping tactics from the 1970s, and he’s asking local corporations like FedEx and AutoZone to help the district come up with better practices.

“There’s local talent and talent in our school community to solve the problems,” said SCS Board Chairman Billy Orgel.

The district is looking at specific schools, warehouses and areas where there may be a high volume of missing items, and some people could lose their jobs because of it.

“My lesson learned is that we have to be more diligent and more forceful in making sure people are held accountable,” said Hopson.

The district shelled out a million dollars for the audit when the districts merged because there hadn’t been one in decades.

The new district wanted to be off the hook for those missing items nearly 30 years before the merger.

“Now we know where we are. I’m responsible and this board is responsible to make sure this never happens again,” said Hopson.

There hasn’t been an audit in more than 30 years, which is also contributing to that high number, and the board says it may be a good idea to have more frequent audits, perhaps every five years.

The board will meet again in 30 days to go over that second look and recommendations from outside groups.

Click here to see the audit summary.