Audit: Omaha Schools Received $5.6-M Overpayment

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

State education officials say they're correcting an Omaha Public Schools accounting error that resulted in a $5.6 million overpayment in special-education funding, which in turn short-changed every other public school district in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Education discovered the error while conducting a yearly financial review.

Department finance director Shane Rhian said Tuesday that the district mistakenly claimed expenses from the state over a two-year period that had already been reimbursed with federal stimulus money.

The overpayments during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years resulted in less funding for other districts.

For instance, state auditors found that Lincoln schools were underpaid by nearly $885,000.

State Auditor Mike Foley says he believes the discrepancy was unintentional.

But he says he finds it "remarkable" that the error went through unnoticed.

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