Tennessee Comptrollers Blast Roane County in New Audit


Roane County School System officials took nearly $80,000 of taxpayer money to create a new position for their Career and Technical Education program even though it was not budgeted, and county commissioners did not approve it.

Tennessee Comptrollers are not happy.

This, according to an audit Comptrollers just released.

“Expenditures exceeded appropriations approved by the county commission in the Career and Technical Education Program major appropriation category (the legal level of control) of the General Purpose School Fund by $77,506. This deficiency was the result of the School Department creating a new CTE Counselor position that was not included in the original budget approved by the county commission,” Comptrollers said in their audit.

“This new position and the corresponding budget amendments were approved by the School Board at four different meetings during the fiscal year, and the School Board presented these budget amendments on four occasions to the county commission. However, on each occasion, the budget amendments were not approved by the county commission.”

In a written response, Director of Schools LaDonna McFall (pictured above) said permission was not needed.

“It should be noted that additional revenue or use of fund balance was not needed as we used savings in other expenditure categories to add the position and therefore did not increase overall appropriations. We submitted budget amendments several times in accordance with state statutes and local procedures to correct this and the county commission failed to approve. Our budget amendment did not require additional funding and was within the total appropriations set by the county commission,” McFall wrote.

“The Roane County Board of Education and Director of Schools reserve the right and has the duty as outlined in state statute to run the school system, as they deem appropriate. The Roane County Board of Education and Director of Schools will not allow the Roane County Commission to exert line item control over the School System’s budget or influence who the school system hires as the county commission does not have that authority under state statute.”

But Comptrollers cited Tennessee law, which said “county legislative bodies” must approve this money, regardless.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Kingston, Roane County” by Brian Stansberry CC4.0 and “LaDonna McFall” is by LaDonna McFall.






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4 Thoughts to “Tennessee Comptrollers Blast Roane County in New Audit”

  1. Tuffy Cooley

    Wasn’t McFall caught up in some shit some time ago??? Seems like I remember something about her. Lets investigate…

  2. Randy

    Curious to see the SAS 115 and the remainder of the audit. I am unable to view the entire audit through the link or directly from the state website. If the director of schools has a contrary opinion to the auditor it should be reflected on pages 289-298. What is the point of conducting an audit if there is no follow up when the School administrators thumb their collective noses at sound account practices.

  3. Victor F. Andrews

    Seems to me, the Roane County School Board not only has a problem this year, but next year and the years after that too! They’ve created a position without budget approval from the county commission. I’m sure they can pull $80k out of their fluff budget any year, but going forward, do they actually have that kind of money? Paying the salary might be the easiest option here, but without funding, how do they propose to pay this un-funded position’s benefits like health insurance, pensions and/or retirement? I think the better way is to work with the county commission instead of railroading the tax payers. Which makes be emphasize, the county commission is obligated to the tax payers, while the school board likely believes everything revolves around and is all about the students – no so! The Roane County Commission should snuff this rouge idea out before it becomes like the WIlliamson County School Board, “It’s all about the kids!” Really? It must first be about the taxpayers and accountability to them.

    1. N Laws

      I’m not saying what the board did was right or wrong but to say education is all about the tax payers isn’t a correct statement either. Why don’t they disclose why the position wasn’t passed the 4 times it was proposed? Or if they did…that should have been in the article. When you present half or only part of the information it just creates drama.