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Rockingham County Schools superintendent addresses recent audit

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EDEN, N.C. -- Budget cuts at the state level have forced school systems across North Carolina to make due with much less. However, Rockingham County Schools Superintendent Rodney Shotwell held a press conference Monday to discuss budget issues for a different reason.

Shotwell addressed the results of a recent audit done by the local accounting firm Anderson, Smith and Wike. Shotwell says the firm was hired to make sure public dollars are being spent correctly.

Overall, the audit showed the school system’s books are in order.

“The auditing firm gave our budget an ‘unqualified opinion,’ which is the highest level of opinion given to a system budget,” according to a statement on the school system’s web site.

However, there were some minor issues.

The audit found the School Food Service program lost $170,000 during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

“In terms of them losing money, yes, we've been taking care of that. We've been looking at the man hours at each location, and how that comes into play. If you look at past audits, our losses have decreased dramatically over the time,” said Shotwell.

Shotwell also said there was a question during a recent board meeting about using electricity bill money for janitorial and restroom supplies.

“You know, I had somebody ask me about toilet paper and those kinds of things. I can assure you that we have money to pay for toilet paper and paper towels if we need them. But if people don't tell us that's needed, then I don't know,” said Shotwell.

The school system also failed to factor in more than $800,000 of depreciation regarding school buildings and infrastructure.

School officials say corrective action is already being taken to address the minor discrepancies.