PRESS RELEASE - April 20, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

Secretary of Education Returns Finance Authority To Vaughn Board of Education

(Santa Fe, NM)--The Vaughn Municipal Schools Board of Education is once again approved to direct the district's financial activities. Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García announced today that she has returned "board of finance authority" to the district.

“On the basis of what has already been accomplished, I fully expect to see continuous improvement in the Vaughn Municipal School District’s financial operations. I applaud the district superintendent and board of education for their efforts. We know that it takes extremely hard work and commitment to make significant change. I encourage the school community to remain focused on continuing to improve.

“Return of the board of finance authority of the Vaughn Board of Education will not diminish the department’s interest in the district’s financial activities,” said Secretary Dr. García. The district will continue to submit all financial reports, including bank reconciliations, on a monthly basis to the Public Education Department (PED).

On March 22, 2001, Michael J. Davis, then the superintendent of public instruction, removed board of finance authority from the school district when it was determined that the district’s financial management was in disarray. Since that time, the PED has functioned as the district’s board of finance, with the Vaughn board continuing to exercise its statutory policymaking and employment duties.

“It is my belief that the improvement in district financial operations is a result of cooperative efforts by Public Education Department and district business office staff over the past three years. Continued progress will require a unified effort by the current local board of education and head administrator to follow through in continued professional development of school finance.

“I want to assure you that the Public Education Department will continue to work with you as a partner to ensure that the children of Vaughn receive the education they need to reach their full potential,” said Secretary Dr. García in a letter delivered to the board of education and district superintendent on April 15, the date that her action took effect.