Accusations and rumor abound regarding money management by Winthrop public schools.

Public schools must, by law, undergo yearly audits. The auditor noted that a number of accounts, not directly associated with the town or school, were using the town of Winthrop’s tax identification number. Money raised by students for Latin Club, Video Production, Football Club, etc., should be housed in a financial institution using the town of Winthrop’s tax identification number.

Money raised by parents, however, for the Boosters Club, Class of 2013, etc., should not be banked using the town of Winthrop’s tax identification number.

The schools’ administrative secretaries have provided the daily accounting procedures of deposits and debits for all of the above accounts. This accounting process has been used for the 41 years that I have been associated with Winthrop public schools. The yearly audits have produced complimentary reports. To my knowledge, neither fraud nor malicious malfeasance nor an illegal nor unethical act has ever been attributed to the way money is managed by school personnel.

We may be guilty of not taking the time to consider newer “best practices” of accounting. These best practices are thought to decrease the opportunity for fraud to occur. In accordance with “best practices,” adult fund raisers will have to open their own accounts without the Winthrop tax identification number. This means that adult groups such as the boosters will have to have their accounts audited yearly. That audit report has to be presented to the school before the school can accept money from that adult group.

It is true that this “best practice” may cost the groups more money to operate, however, the overall goal is to continue to move toward currently perceived “financial best practices.”

Virginia Geyer


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