Dear Wayne-Westland School Community:
We continue to appreciate our strong partnership with parents and community members. From businesses providing internships for students, to parents supporting the marching band and arts programs, to school parent-teacher organizations, the district values this shared support. We also want to keep our community updated as we work with the current budget concerns.
Here is a short summary of where the district is today; While preparing for the annual audit, budget discrepancies were found. Last week, when we received the final audit, it became apparent that there were financial issues of concern. State and school budgets are complex, and we are taking the time to complete a financial deep dive with our business office. As it is available, we will share more detailed information. In the meantime, please reference our frequently asked questions webpage.
Leading the investigation into our finances is our new assistant superintendent of business and finances, Julie Campbell. Ms. Campbell joined the district in August 2023. She brings 23 years of financial experience. Most recently, she was the chief financial officer with Bedford Public Schools. We have appreciated the expertise that Ms. Campbell brings as the district's new finance leader.
As we look to the future, I want to reinforce what our auditors and new financial staff members have noted. This was not an issue of deliberate miscalculation or misconduct. With the complexity of today's budgets, which are made even more complex by the influx of various COVID funds, the discrepancies occurred within the budgeting processes rather than from actual transactions. The new finance team identified and isolated a number of problems that occurred during the budget cycles.
As Ms. Campbell and her team continue to do a deep dive into our budget and final financial projections, the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of Education and district leadership will continue to make decisions that align resources with educational goals. As changes occur, we will respond in a fashion that reflects compassion and empathy while remaining true to our commitment to providing a quality education to every student.
We will hold a special board meeting on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 6 p.m. for the public to ask questions. The meeting will occur at Wayne Memorial High School, Stockmeyer Auditorium 3001 Fourth Street, Wayne, MI 48184.
Thank you again for your continued support and partnership with our district. Together, we are shaping the future through the lives of our students and graduates.
John Dignan, Ed.D.