Christina School District tops overtime list in auditor’s report

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The Christiana School District piled up double the amount of overtime of the largest Red Clay Consolidated School District, according to a report from the state Auditor of Accounts Office.

Public information officials of the district did not respond to a request for comment.

The financially challenged district based in Wilmington is on track to lay off staff after a failed tax increase referendum earlier this spring reported more than $2.1 million overtime in fiscal 2017, the report indicated.

The high overtime figure comes despite the Red Clay district having higher enrollment than Christina, which has lost students to charter schools and other alternatives.

One specialist in the Christina district earned more than $100,000 in overtime.

(See the listing of top 50 overtime earners in the appendix of the full report. Abbreviated job descriptions, but not identities of the individuals are not disclosed)

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While school districts do not pay teachers overtime, custodians and other staff members are entitled to overtime.

The Auditor’s office reported that districts are “using a variety of methods, from automated to manual, to track and approve overtime hours.

“We tested 410 timesheets and found the following issues: 207 timesheets in which we were unable to recalculate overtime hours due to a lack of supporting documentation (Capital, Christina, Lake Forest, and New Castle County Vocational-Technical School Districts); 46 timesheets in which overtime hours were incorrectly calculated (Appoquinimink, Cape Henlopen, Capital, Christina, Colonial, Lake Forest, New Castle County Vocational-Technical, and Smyrna School Districts); and one timesheet lacked approval of overtime (Christina School District),” the office reported.

State Auditor, Kathy McGuiness stated, “I am proud to announce significant strides have been taken at various Delaware School Districts to improve upon these issues. Our office has offered the inspected school districts a series of recommendations to rectify the overtime issues that will ultimately better serve Delawareans in the future.”

The auditor’s office suggested that school districts adopt a common overtime system.

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