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Report Confirms Fayette Schools' Surplus Spending Error

Karyn Czar

For the past nine years, Fayette County Public Schools officials have been improperly handing out surplus dollars to schools -- that's the conclusion of a Kentucky Office of Education Accountability investigation. The report lines up with previous findings by district officials.

FCPS spokesperson Lisa Deffendall says administrators were made aware of the error months ago and have since taken action.

"The district began last spring really scrutinizing our different procedures and determined through that process that Section 7 funding had not been handled properly going back almost a decade, so we put those fixes in place this spring and trained everybody on the right way to do it and we're moving forward," she says.

The miscalculations had meant school councils weren't receiving the correct amount of leftover dollars once the school board finished its budgeting process. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, officials distribute the surplus, or Section 7, funding using formulas involving student achievement data.

The district had come under fire by NAACP leaders for misallocating the funds, which the organization argues aren't making it to the schools most in need.

New FCPS superintendent Emmanuel Caulk has initiated a broad review of the district's entire operation in the hopes of identifying any other outstanding problems.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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