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IPS terminates CFO after disagreement over budget

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Indianapolis Public Schools has fired its chief financial officer for “unsatisfactory work performance” one week after Superintendent Lewis Ferebee publicly disagreed with a financial assessment that said the district had a $30 million budget deficit.

Debra Hineline, CFO of the district for the past five years, was terminated Tuesday by the school board along with eight other employees Ferebee recommended for termination.

On March 11, Ferebee unveiled the results of his analysis of IPS finances by saying a previously determined $30 million structural budget deficit wasn’t real, but was instead the result of a “budgeting tactic” used by his predecessors.

According to Ferebee’s analysis, the district had 2013 budget surplus of $8.4 million.

“IPS has over-projected expenses to maintain a functional cash balance,” IPS officials said in a statement released after last week’s board meeting. “The district has operated under a budgeted deficit, rather than an actual deficit.”

Ferebee’s analysis found that the 2013 budget projected $244 million in funding but $274.4 million in expenses, creating a deficit of $30.4 million.

But some of those expenses were for projects that never actually occurred, such as the expansion of pre-kindergarten programs, the creation of a new science school and the hiring of new employees.

The system's actual 2013 expenses totaled $237.8 million, while its revenue totaled $246.2 million.

IPS announced it had a $30 million structural deficit about a year ago, when the district was being led by interim superintendent Peggy Hinckley.

Hineline previously worked for Washington Township Schools and the Indiana Department of Education, where she was state finance director.




 
 

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  • Independant Audit
    I will be interested to see what the independant audits says.
  • So then the next question
    These shenanigans with accounting have to stop. Mitch and company got caught having "lost track of" a couple hundred million dollars--money that could have forestalled precipitous cuts to school districts in our state if only it had been "found" before the layoffs occurred. This shabby turn of events, especially if it has been going on for several years, almost certainly led to some number of layoffs and some weakening of an already-weak school system.
  • Good Move...
    Good. About time someone (higher up/management) who "messed up" got fired.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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