Craven boards meet over school funding error

boards meet

Tom Mark, foreground at left, chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners, and Carr Ipock, foreground at right, chairman of the Craven County Board of Education, listen as members of the two boards discuss school funding issues on Monday.

Sue Book/Halifax Media Service
Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM.

Members of Craven County’s Board of Commissioners and Board of Education appeared to leave a nearly two-hour joint meeting Monday amiably and with a new commitment to communicate.

The meeting was originally set to finalize the county’s school appropriations, particularly teacher supplements, but information that recently surfaced about a possible 2014 Federal Impact Aid penalty took top billing.

A clerical error in paperwork submitted to the federal government could cause Craven County Schools to lose 10 percent, or $255,000, of its Impact Aid.

Commissioner Scott Dacey brought the issue to commissioners’ attention at an Aug. 4 meeting. On Monday, he was also the most vocal critic of commissioners not finding out about the problem until long after school officials were aware of it.

Even when school leaders came before commissioners with the school system’s 2014-15 budget request and said they had less federal money, they did not mention the quarter-million dollar Impact Aid penalty, Dacey said.

The likely penalty is because an application cover page was faxed in a landscape rather than a portrait display, thereby omitting a required signature. The application was submitted Jan. 30, 2013, and the error came to the schools’ attention on Feb. 1, 2013.

Craven County Board of Education Chairman Carr Ipock said the page, which appeared one way on the website and another as a PDF, was returned correctly two hours after notice was received. It was ultimately still labeled past deadline.

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