Hazelwood parents succeed in seeking state audit of school distr - KMOV.com

Hazelwood parents succeed in seeking state audit of school district

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

Parents in the Hazelwood School district have secured a state audit after a yearlong battle questioning budget cuts.

“I think the message is listen to your community. Listen to your parents if you’re the leaders of a school district,” said Betsy Rachel, one of the parents that led the charge is petitioning for the audit.

Rachel received a letter from the Missouri State Auditor’s office last week that read, “the St. Louis County Election Board has certified that 6,082 signatures submitted are signatures of registered, resident voters. These signatures meet the requirement of 5,000 signatures for a petition audit of the Hazelwood School District.”

Rachel and several other parents started the petition drive for an audit last spring in opposition of cuts passed by the school board.

The district passed cuts to gym, music and field trips to help fix a $15 million budget hole. The school district had communicated the budget problems for the last several years but many parents felt taken aback and surprised by the cuts. They wanted to have a say in which programs were cut.

They started gathering signatures and presented the petition to the state in December.

“Moving forward we hope it will provide a really good tool for the school district to help identify area we don’t need to spend money on, or as much money, and get the focus back on the kids,” said Rachel.

She said at this point there is no time table for when the audit will happen.

“The school district has been notified of the audit. The audit will primarily cover the current period and most recently completed fiscal year,” read the letter from the auditor’s office.

A spokesperson for Hazelwood did not offer any other details except to say they are fully cooperating with the State Auditor’s Office.

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