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Lack of oversight found in area schools spending

Sunday - 3/11/2012, 9:01am  ET

WASHINGTON - Your tax dollars pay for public schools and two new reports are shedding some light on cases where those dollars may not be watched closely enough.

A schools audit in Alexandria points to problems with the capital improvement plan, calling the budgeting process "dysfunctional" and raising red flags about a conflict of interest for a staffer who used to work for a company paid by the school system.

The audit found spending controls are still weak and it recommends a new rule -- not spending capital improvement money that is not in the budget.

The audit looked at several elementary schools in Alexandria: James K. Polk, Patrick Henry, Charles Barrett, John Adams, Douglas MacArthur and William Ramsey.

Several school employees have left or lost their jobs since the money issues surfaced in Alexandria.

In Frederick, Md. schools tell The Gazette they've lost track of 230 items from computers to exercise equipment, each worth more than a $1,000.

The missing property, when purchased, cost a combined $410,660.17, The Gazette reports.

The school system says some of the missing items may have been rightfully thrown away or the paperwork just lost.

WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow Max and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)