With the start of the new school year, Corning Union High School District finds itself in the midst of an investigation concerning accounting irregularities in its Food Service Department.

On Tuesday district Superintendent Jared Caylor issued a press release stating on Aug. 13 the district noticed a problem in the food service department’s financial accounting, and during the ongoing investigation it was discovered at least $4,000 was unaccountably missing from food service funds.

“We have placed an employee on administrative leave and the investigation is expanding,” Caylor said. “CUHSD (the district) is utilizing an experienced accounting firm to examine the possibility of misconduct.”

He went on to say the district’s food service accounts exist to provide nutritionally balanced, low cost or free meals to students every day.

“These accounts are meant to capture and organize revenue generated from the sale of food before school, during lunch, and after school,” Caylor said. “CUHSD will ensure that any missing funds are replenished as it is truly student money that is missing.”

The district stated the ongoing investigation will take time to determine which specific accounts are missing funds.

“If that can be determined at all,” Caylor added. “We know questions may surface. As a result, we felt this communication was necessary to proactively assist with rumor control and thank you in advance for your patience as we work through the challenges connected with this issue.”

The superintendent said the district has set as a priority in identifying if there are any practices that need to be changed to prevent misuse and missing funds within the district in the future.

“We are grateful our current practices allowed us to identify there was a problem and intervene,” Caylor stated.

He emphasized the district provides regular training and support to its staff to ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively perform their job functions.

“We are always looking to get better,” Caylor added.

He said at the conclusion of the investigation, the district will take any or all appropriate action, including turning the finding over to local law enforcement if appropriate.

In 2017 the district conducted an investigation into the mismanagement and misuse of district funds by then-superintendent John Burch. The investigation concluded with Burch’s resignation and a report by FCMACT (Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team) that found he had allegedly misused district funds for personal use.

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