Alarming news reports have surfaced about a possible $778,000 discrepancy within the Barbour County school system. The outstanding balance is between the total reported in the West Virginia Education Information System and what the most recent audit report shows for the school system in relation to fixed assets.
Sadly, Annette Hughart, treasurer for Barbour County Schools, said, "We can't rely on the validity of either number."
That's real cause for concern. Further, the last full-scale fixed-asset inventory for the county was completed more than eight years ago. To us, that seems to be too long to go without a necessary system of checks and balances that such an inventory provides.
We are hopeful, as is Superintendent Joseph Super, that the discrepancy simply could be caused by items that were not properly counted. Regardless, this looming question - and money variance - needs to be thoroughly investigated.
That's why we believe the school board should immediately authorize an inventory. We're told members will revisit the issue at a future meeting, but all questions should be answered sooner rather than later. Our children - and the county's taxpayers - deserve nothing less.