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Waynesboro school board to discuss purchase orders

July 17, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Area School Board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to further discuss how the school district’s system makes purchases.

Last week, board members questioned several purchase orders on their list for approval.

“I’m going to call a meeting next (week), and I want to see the principals in here to justify these,” Board President Ed Wilson said Tuesday.

Board member Billie Finn launched the discussion about purchase orders at last week’s board meeting. She mentioned 31 items, including GPS units and wireless pointers, totaling $44,000.

“These are the items that jump out at me. I’m sure some of them are justified,” Finn said, saying purchases need to be reviewed critically.

Board member Chris Lind said purchases of things like USB drives and wireless pointers need to be funneled through the technology department to get better prices.

Finn questioned purchase orders for DVDs in light of a movie policy enacted in February. That policy was developed in large part because of concerns about too many movies being shown in classes.

“I’m not going to spend a nickel to buy a DVD,” she said.

Finn specifically pointed out a purchase order for a “Boys and Girls are Different” DVD for high school health classes, saying, “If they haven’t figured that out by high school ...”

“I think this entire list needs to be scrubbed for nonessential items,” she said.

Board member K. Marilyn Smith said she’s not sure the board is in a position to determine on its own what is not essential.

“Wouldn’t the teachers be the ones who know what they need for their classrooms rather than the board?” she asked.

Board member Sherry Cline said it seems the district could save money by better combining purchases to save on shipping costs.

A vote taken last week on whether to approve purchase orders failed. Wednesday’s meeting will be held in the boardroom at the Clayton Avenue administrative offices.

Business Administrator Caroline Dean said the school board previously banned open purchase orders, so items go to her office for payment within the confines of departmental budgets.

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