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PCSSD leaders respond to 2011 audit

State lawmakers drill Pulaski County Special School District leaders after a number of findings in last year's audit. The district is already in fiscal distress and at odds with the two employee unions over budget cuts.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - PCSSD leaders responded to state lawmakers concerning 10 violations in the 2011 audit Thursday. The audit mostly found problems with how the district spent more money than they brought in and how they failed to correctly document purchases.

"We are making plans in the current fiscal year to make changes now but we certainly gave changes in 2012-13,” PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess said.

Guess says they’ve hired outside consultants to help them correct the books - but Senator Linda Chesterfield (D) 34 wonders if outside help is the problem.

"That's why I'm concerned about, these other folks being brought in,” Chesterfield said. “What they’re being paid, what debt they're incurring by bringing them in."

Already aware of the district's financial situation, union leads say everyone should see why the negotiation process is so tense. They believe the district will spend money elsewhere instead of agreeing with them on budget cuts. The unions and the district can't agree on nearly two million dollars in cuts. The time to make a decision on those cuts is right around the corner.

"There are a lot of things we can look at, but we've got the share the hurt," PACT President Marty Nix said.

"It's not about the money,” Chesterfield said. “It's about getting the contracts and that's something PACT and PASS won't give up to the district."

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