News & Resources

Lunch debt an issue in Wellesley

Nov 02, 2011 Mike Garretson

A debt collection measure is being taken by Wellesley, Massachusetts, school officials in an effort to recoup the more than $47,000 debt that resulted from a faulty billing system, the Boston Globe reports. The system had failed to bill parents for approximately $169,000 in lunch money, and demand letters have been sent out by the city's constable to around 70 families with unpaid fees of $100 or more. A September audit triggered by the large debt found that the city's schools lacked "adequate monitoring or analytical procedures being applied to the management of the various revenue cycles of the schools," the news source notes in a separate article. The audit looked at six of the school system's 18 programs that are used to collect fees and revenue. They were found to be missing control procedures for dealing with checks and cash. However, no misappropriation of funds was reported. Superintendent Bella Wong recently announced plans for a second audit by the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials next month, while Wellesley School business manager Ruth Quinn Berdell has put new controls in place to standardize fee collection and spreadsheets to track payments.