Parents concerned after DeKalb County school's CFO quits - CBS46 News

Parents concerned after DeKalb County school's CFO quits

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Michael Perrone Michael Perrone

Parents actively involved in DeKalb County schools said they are concerned for the future of the district after the abrupt resignation of the chief financial officer.

Michael Perrone submitted his resignation to the district May 7, just days after he announced the district would have a $27 million budget surplus in the upcoming year. Earlier reports indicated the school system was facing a deficit.

"I think he had enough," said Kirk Lunde of Concerned Citizens for a Unified DeKalb. 

Lunde said Perrone inherited a budget mess. He and other parents said an outside auditor needs to come in and look at the books.

"I'm not going to point a finger at Mr. Perrone," said Lunde.  "I'm going to say in the central office of Dekalb county schools, there is a large amount of incompetence."

The district said Perrone gave no explanation for his resignation.

"I haven't been able to talk to Mr. Perrone about his reasons for resigning," said district spokesman Jeff Dickerson.  "I know he didn't resign under any pressure."

Dickerson said the surplus Perrone uncovered did not factor into his decision to leave.

"It's not as if we had a pot of money, $27 million dollars, laying around someplace that the CFO overlooked," Dickerson said. "Much of that surplus will come from untapped sources of revenue."

"I just really question how did we get to a surplus," said parent Caroline Lord. "It still doesn't sit well with me as a taxpayer. No one is looking out for the DeKalb citizen period." 

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) put the district on probation for a lack of leadership and money mismanagement. 

In a statement released Thursday, SACS' K-12 President Mark Elgart said, "The monitoring team scheduled to review the DeKalb County School District next week will review the budget and financial situation. Specifically, they will be looking for progress related to the Required Actions for continued accreditation; two of those actions relate to fiscal management."

The district's chief auditor, Michael Bell, will serve as CFO until a search is launched.

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