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July 21, 2024

ISBE: D-95 Audit Findings and Monitoring –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 15, 2023

PARIS, Ill. (ECWd) –

The Illinois State Board of Education sent us the following documents in response to our questions on the FBI search of District 95 Superintendent Jeremy Larson’s home earlier this week.

These are part of the $3.24 million in questioned or disallowed expenditures that apparently gave rise to the FBI’s search of the home.

This article consists of the Audit Findings and the Agreed Monitoring documents.

The Agreed Monitoring (Preliminary) Document lists the questioned expenditures and also lists which ones were accepted and which ones must be repaid.

From the FY2021 Internal Controls Audit:

  • Finding #1 – Contracts over $25,000 were not all presented to the board for approval as required under board policy, quotes from more than one vendor may not have been obtained or kept on file for contracts over $10,000
  • Finding #2 – No property record lists adequately documenting purchased equipment – this is repeated from the 2019 audit
  • Finding #3 – failure to perform physical inventory
  • Finding #4 – all equipment purchases were not approved, listing equipment as supply items, and not obtaining prior to approval on purchases over $5000

From the FY2021 Block Grant Audit:

  • Finding #1 – No adequate financial records
  • Finding #2 – Salaries, wages, and benefits paid with grant funds were not approved or adequate. This included a $30k stipend to the Mayo School Principal with no documentation of the purpose of the payment, $33,897 in administrative compensation, $26,483 in salaries for summer professional development, and $10,000 paid to a staff member as a consultant on a reading program
  • Finding #3 – Some staff who received grant fund payments did not hold the required certificates
  • Finding #4 – $54,627 paid from wrong accounts, including a $11,990 payment to a transportation contractor which was claimed twice under separate accounts
  • Finding #5 – failed to submit accurate required periodical expenditure reports. Some reports based on budgeted amounts, not amounts actually expended

From the FY2021 Early Childhood Block Grant:

  • Finding #1 – failed to maintain adequate financial records
  • Finding #2 – Salaries, wages, and benefits paid with grant funds were not approved or adequate
  • Finding #3 – failed to submit accurate required periodical expenditure reports
  • Other findings include payments to the Wenz School Principal with no supporting documentation for the purpose of the payment

From the FY2021 Low Income Grant and teacher quality grant:

  • Similar findings as previous grants – with the addition of unauthorized purchases for the band, sports, arts, high school, music, and nurse supplies. Software subscriptions, school messenger subscriptions, etc…

All the other grant audits were similar to the above but also included items indicating large Amazon purchases by district staff other than grant staff at the end of the grant year where those items were not located at the building where the grant proceeds were reported to be used. Fees paid for movie production, and expenses for regular classroom instruction.

Read the report below:

Paris-Union SD 95 Report



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  • Jack Tarleton
    Posted at 15:43h, 15 June Reply

    Whoever was responsible for administering those grants at the district level needs to be fired and probably prosecuted.

  • Sgt. Joe Friday (LAPD Ret.)
    Posted at 10:08h, 16 June Reply

    Without commenting on the merits of this particular case or Mr. Larson’s character…when law enforcement searches any home, it is either looking for evidence of a crime or proceeds from a crime. Besides the obvious potential for some records to be kept off-site, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the “expenditure items” that were not on (school district) site and not being used as specified in the grant were – instead – at an individual’s home(s). This case has legs!

    I hope that the large expenditures/stipends to individuals that were not otherwise proper under the grant specifications were at least legitimate and ethical compensation efforts for services actually rendered.

  • Dick Tracy
    Posted at 10:55h, 18 June Reply

    Someone needs to FOIA the full audit report to read all the details of the problems. I’m sure it will be very interesting to everyone.

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