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District accounts for cheerleading funds

Parents still have questions

Posted: June 24, 2011 2:42 p.m.
Updated: June 27, 2011 5:00 a.m.

In a letter to Lugoff-Elgin High School parents Mike and Marti Gogan, Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said there is no money missing from the high school’s cheerleading account.

 “With all due respect to the Gogans, our financial coordinator and other staff did a thorough investigation of the funds, and I stand by our response,” Morgan said on Friday morning.

Several weeks ago, the Gogans emailed Morgan a list of concerns about the athletic department at L-EHS, which also included questions regarding why money in the school’s cheerleading account did not reflect what they believed to be all of the money raised during fundraisers.

In the response, which was given to the Gogans Wednesday morning, Morgan said the fundraising proceeds involving the Smokehouse restaurant, Little Demon Cheer Clinic and face-painting had been mistakenly deposited in the “Cheer” versus “Cheer Fundraising” account. The funds, he said in the letter, which totaled $3,135.25, have now been deposited in the “Cheer Fundraising” account.

 “Based on the district finance coordinator’s review, it is apparent that the issues you raised were generally caused from fundraising monies being deposited into the wrong account, and all fundraising proceeds have been used solely for Lugoff-Elgin High School cheerleading,” he said. “Moreover, no evidence of intentional wrongdoing was uncovered. There are some procedural issues that have emerged that we are taking immediate steps to correct.”

Regarding specific questions about the Smokehouse restaurant fundraiser, Morgan said 50 percent owed to the restaurant was paid in cash. Acknowledging that the proper procedure would have been to write a check to the Smokehouse after depositing the money into the “Cheer Fundraising” account, Morgan said the matter has “already been addressed directly with the appropriate staff.”

In response to the Gogans’ question regarding an entry that “wiped the account,” Morgan said that was attributed to budget cuts in January 2010 and the funds pulled were applied to operational costs.

“The entry that ‘wiped the account’ was related to budget cuts that were made by the district in January 2010 because of a $2.7 million loss of state revenue. Prior to the budget cuts, the district provided funding to schools to support non-revenue sports and extracurricular activities,” he said in the letter. “Because of the significant loss of state revenue mid-year in 2009-10, funds of this type that had been previously allocated and still remained were pulled back in order to cover the loss of revenue. This was the case for all non-revenue sports and extracurricular activities.”

In response to speculation that new cheerleading uniforms had not been purchased in the past decade, Morgan said three sets of cheerleading uniforms have been purchased during the past several years, and the ABLE Club at L-EHS made the decision to purchase new cheerleading uniforms May 10. Those new cheerleading uniforms have already been ordered and will be paid for by the ABLE Club, he added.

However, in an email sent to Morgan Thursday, the Gogans said they would still like additional clarification as to where the $3,135 was being pulled from, in addition to more information about the total amount earned from the fundraisers and the location of the receipts associated with it.

“As you may already know, we have copies of ledgers that suggest deposits were not made into either cheer accounts as it concerns the Smokehouse Fundraiser and the face painting. So we really do not know where those funds are being pulled from to be ‘correctly deposited’ into the proper cheer accounts,” the Gogans said in the letter.

And Friday morning, the Gogans continued to express concern regarding what they felt were “poor accounting techniques.”

 “I understand one mistake, but to have a number of mistakes like that, you wonder what else is going on. Had nobody said anything about it, it would have remained status quo,” said Mike Gogan, adding that school district conducting its own investigation was a conflict of interest. “Why does it take a parent to do all of this?”

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