Officials in the Franklin Pierce School District failed to abide by federal regulations when they purchased nearly $180,000 in science supplies last year, according to a state auditor’s report released Tuesday.
Public school districts must follow state bid laws when purchasing supplies with federal funds. The report notes that Franklin Pierce used federal stimulus funds to pay four vendors for science supplies. One vendor was paid the bulk of the funds, $113,048. Under state rules, the Parkland-based district should have sought formal bids for that purchase, the report states.
Another vendor was paid $45,042 for supplies, and the district should have obtained at least three informal written or over-the-phone price quotes for those materials, the report said.
District spokesman Willie Painter said the confusion occurred because the district assumed it could treat the supply purchases the same as textbook purchases, which are exempt from state bid laws.
The auditor recommended that the district train staff members on the issue to ensure compliance in the future. The district promised it would do so.debbie.cafazzo @thenewstribune.com