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Audit finds ReNEW Schools in good financial shape

ReNEW Schools is in a sound financial position, according to a recently completed audit by accounting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville.

Chief Financial Officer Tanya Bryant presented the reports to ReNEW Schools board members at their meeting on Thursday.

A letter from Postlethwaite & Netterville to board members said it had no “significant difficulties” or disagreements with ReNEW management during the audit.

“The financial statement disclosures are neutral, consistent and clear,” the firm wrote.

The firm wrote that it discovered one “material misstatement,” which it said management had corrected. However, Bryant said that was incorrect.

The audit showed an increase in total net assets from $366,016 to $1,060,036 and a decrease in total liabilities from $2,027,601 to $1,869,012 for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013.

School leaders exercised more control over their own budgets in the 2012-13 school year, Bryant said, which made “a big difference” in how ReNEW managed its money. The leaders ended the year with budget surpluses that were rolled over into the current school year.

ReNEW’s $500,000 line of credit expired Dec. 19, but was reissued with a $800,000 line of credit, Bryant said.

The firm’s audit also included statistics on ReNEW Schools, including teacher experience, salaries and student test scores.

Bryant also presented the current budget, which showed that “intersessions” are costing more than projected. ReNEW’s intersessions allow students to receive extra attention during break periods. Some of ReNEW’s school leaders chose not to have a winter intersession in order to save money, Bryant said, though they all still intend to hold spring and summer intersessions.

Lisa Giarratano Hearin, ReNEW’s director of math curriculum and instruction, gave an overview of the organization’s transition to Common Core standards.

Her presentation showed the following timetable for phasing out current curriculum and transitioning to new English and math curricula and assessments.

Grade

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015

Pre-Kindergarten

Current

Current

New

New

Kindergarten

Current

New

New

New

1

Current

New

New

New

2

Current

Transitional

New

New

3-8

Current

Transitional

Transitional

New

High school

Current

Transitional

Transitional

New

Hearin said the transition has been smooth, with the exception of some parents being unfamiliar with the new ways of learning and teachers not having many resources available for lesson planning.

Development Manager Pete Rodway announced he will begin to shift away from his duties at ReNEW Schools in March to take a new job in Chicago.

The next board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13, at ReNEW Accelerated High School, 3649 Laurel St.

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  • nickelndime

    Yeah, right. Unless there is outright felonious theft (as in NOMMA, Lusher, Langston Hughes – which then requires a forensic audit), everything is on the up and up. Right? Think again. This is like the guy stealing wheelbarrows. This is not the only instance. Nobody is being singled out here! I love Postlethwaite & Netterville. They is good people.

  • nickelndime

    ReNEW: January 2014 – CFO Tanya Bryant reports to board that ReNEW is in a “sound financial condition.” Postlethwaite & Netterville, the accounting firm that completed the audit provided an unqualified audit of the charter network. How so? When ReNEW was improperly assigning employees to a campus at which they “physically” did not report, in order to manipulate TRSL employer contributions! Is this what Gary Robichaux, Ms. Bryant, and the accounting firm call proper governmental accounting techniques? I hope not! What is the RSD’s take on this? GIVE ‘EM MORE SCHOOLS! Now there is Singleton Charter and its creative accounting techniques with TRSL.

  • nickelndime

    ReNEW: I recant what I said 6 months ago. P & N is not “good people.” The burden rests with Postlethwaite & Netterville! How did this accounting firm miss the thousands of dollars of under- and un-reporting of employer/employee contributions to TRSL? The unqualified audit is based on what? The word of the CEO?