While the full details of the 2014-15 annual independent audit of the Wilkinsburg School District won't be made public until next month, school directors on Tuesday got a preview of the district's ledgers, which are showing a $1.2 million deficit for the year.
It's a total that came as a surprise to board members, who said they expected to end the 2014-15 year with a balanced budget of about $28 million.
"Ending the year with a deficit was a surprise," said school director Debra Raubenstrauch, who chairs the finance committee. "There was no indication we would end this year with this much of a deficit."
When the 2014-15 deficit is added the to the $1.3 million shortfall from the 2013-14 school year, the district has a cumulative deficit of $2.5 million.
In addition, the district owes the Allegheny Intermediate Unit $3.3 million for special education services provided but not paid for in recent years. It's unclear at this point how much of the AIU bill may be included in the cumulative deficit.
The news of the deficit came Tuesday night in a private session held with auditors from the firm Maher Duessel. It comes a week after school directors said the district's bank accounts were in such disarray when auditors arrived in June, they had to be re-created for the auditors to do their work.
Auditors still don't have a finished report for the board, although one is expected in March. In addition, the district still has not been able to file its annual financial report with the state Department of Education, which was due Oct. 31.
During the board's public meeting Tuesday, it approved a $49,500 separation agreement with Peter Kasich, who was hired as director of facilities in July and left the district after one month. School directors said they could not discuss the reason for Mr. Kasich departure.
The board also approved a sick leave for up to six weeks for acting superintendent Joseph Petrella. Mr. Petrella left on an abrupt sick leave on Feb. 2.
Mary Niederberger: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1590.