During one of the largest school mergers in the nation’s history, Memphis and Shelby County School officials lost track of more than $48 million worth of school equipment, according to a recent audit.
At an audit committee meeting Monday night, representatives from Maryland-based ProBar told board members that more than $48.4 million worth of equipment including laptops, air conditioners and vehicles has not yet been accounted for, according to local media outlets. Memphis lost nearly 23 percent of its equipment and Shelby County Schools lost nearly 18 percent of their equipment during the merger which was completed last summer.
The district merged with Memphis schools in 2011 after Memphis surrendered its charter. The merger led to several school closings, layoffs and consolidations.
The firm said equipment often goes unaccounted for during large-scale mergers because labels are damaged, administrators mislabel equipment or dispose of broken equipment improperly, according to the audit summary posted by My Fox Memphis. The district has not released the full audit to the media yet.
Shelby County Schools’ superintendent Dorsey Hopson plans to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. at the district’s headquarters today to address the auditor’s findings.