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District 150 Explains Checks and Balances

District 150 has recently felt some heat from the public for its spending, something the school board addressed at its meeting Tuesday night.
PEORIA - District 150 has recently felt some heat from the public for its spending, something the school board addressed at its meeting Tuesday night.

There are 58 purchase cards district-wide and Tuesday the card administrators explained the system of checks and balances they use to regulate spending.

Mike McKenzie is the district’s assistant comptroller and one of the card administrators. Carla Eman is the district’s budget analyst and serves as the other administrator. They said they haven't seen any evidence that cards have been intentionally improperly used, but that they had been used two or three times accidentally for personal items like gas, which were immediately reported.

McKenzie and Eman said they look at every charge on every statement and collect receipts for all those charges on the districts 58 purchase cards.

People have questioned 'luxurious hotel' charges on Superintendent Lathan’s card.

Dr. Grenita Lathan responded, “You normally chose the hotel where the conference is being housed. I mean that's for convenience that's just for everyone being in a centralized location."

There have also been complaints about sales tax. The district doesn’t have to pay sales tax on most items, but McKenzie said sometimes it does slip through the cracks.

"They get in a hurry and sometimes they don't give the, go through the steps and by and large, most of the charges are tax exempt," he said.

Dr. Lathan also came under fire for charges for beauty supplies on her purchase card. She said the cosmetology program didn't have its own card at that time, so after it was approved by the board the charge went on her card.
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