Audit: Omaha Schools Received $5.6M Overpayment

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The state auditor says he finds it "remarkable" that officials didn't quickly catch an accounting error that resulted in a $5.6 million overpayment in special-education funding to the Omaha public school system. That, in turn, short-changed every other public school district in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Education eventually discovered the error while conducting a yearly financial review. Department finance director Shane Rhian said Tuesday that the district mistakenly claimed expenses from the state over a two-year period that had already been reimbursed with federal stimulus money.

The overpayments during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years resulted in less funding for other districts. For instance, state auditors found that Lincoln schools were underpaid by nearly $885,000.

State Auditor Mike Foley says he believes the discrepancy was unintentional.

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