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No Dayton schools sports cash missing for first time in 4 years; issues remain

Dayton Public Schools improved its handling of athletic department funds this school year, with no missing deposits for the first time in four years. But the district’s internal auditor said a review revealed room for improvement.

DPS Internal Auditor Randall Harper told the school board last week that he reviewed athletic ticket sales and deposits from this fall and winter on a request from the DPS treasurer’s office.

JULY 2017: Auditor says $2,105 in missing money being repaid

A March 12 memo from Harper to district Athletic Director Mark Baker said the treasurer’s office had found discrepancies, and emphasized that DPS “needs to improve on maintaining compliance with timely deposits as required in board policy.”

This issue with ensuring timely deposits was central to the district’s two recent cases of missing ticket money. More than $14,000 in gate receipts from five DPS home football games in 2014 and 2015 was never deposited and went missing. And another $2,105 in ticket sale receipts from multiple basketball games in 2016-17 was stolen after it was not deposited in a timely fashion.

“We were able to confirm that 100 percent of athletic deposits at the school buildings had been deposited to the treasurer and are accounted for. That’s great news this year,” Harper told the school board. “There’s always room for improvement, and we discussed that with Mr. Baker and Superintendent Lolli. We’ll be looking at those (issues) next season.”

AUGUST 2016: Audit shows $14,312 in missing gate receipts

Harper said multiple documents the athletic department submitted to the treasurer were missing information, so the treasurer’s office asked him to review ticket sales for the fall and winter sports seasons.

Harper’s memo to Baker identified dozens of instances where procedures were not followed — senior tickets sold at the wrong price, volleyball games where admission wasn’t charged, admission being charged without tickets to track sales, and several documentation concerns about ticket reconciliation sheets and deposit slips.

Harper emphasized that his review was not a full audit, but he thanked Baker, school athletic directors, sports coordinators and building principals for their help.

RELATED: Dayton schools, OHSAA have war of words after court case

School board member Karen Wick-Gagnet asked what made the difference between the missing money of three previous years, and the 100 percent accounting of this school year. Harper cited better training and enforcement on the athletics department operations manual.

“We had a few new athletic directors this year who were eager to follow those policies and procedures,” Harper said. “The principals have done a lot of enforcement (of ADs), because they want to see the positive end of it, and make sure the funds that we’re collecting are going to the students.”

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