The Columbus City School District has already begun to take measures to correct problems revealed in a state audit of the 2006-07 school year.

The Columbus City School District has already begun to take measures to correct problems revealed in a state audit of the 2006-07 school year.

In fact, according to district spokesman Jeff Warner, the district was already taking corrective action before the results of the audit were released by the state on April 22.

The audit showed the district is missing $1.1-million in assets, or about 905 items. But Warner said that in many cases, those items aren't missing so much as they are misplaced. What with opening and closing, renovating and rebuilding schools, some things just aren't where they were supposed to be.

"Part of our challenge has been that with opening 14 new schools, a lot of furniture and equipment has been disseminated out among other schools," Warner said.

He said the district is already implementing a program to track the assets more effectively.

"We already had a system in place to address this, and that is moving to bar code scanners to track our 40,000 assets," Warner said. "(The assets are) just not in the location they were originally purchased to serve."

He could not give a timeframe for when the district will locate all the assets.

"It's still going to be a huge task," he said.

The audit also revealed that, at least in bookkeeping terms, the district overspent the amount of Title I funds earmarked for district schools by a total of $735,000.

Warner said the overage amounted to a difference in methods used by the district to mark funds.

"The state auditor doesn't like the method in which it is accounted," he said, "but it is permitted by the federal program."

He said the district has two accounts for Title I funds - one for each participating school and a districtwide account. When the amount allocated to a given school is "overspent," Warner said, it is because the Title I teachers there are at a higher earning level than average. In those cases, he said, funds to pay the salary differentials come from the districtwide account.

"There's no reimbursement or repayment required to the government," Warner said.

The audit also reported on about $3,700 that was inappropriately spent or banked, including $1,284 paid in insurance claims to an ineligible individual. That money will be repaid to the district by the individual.

In addition, $397 in food service receipts and $953 in receipts from a student activity were not deposited. In the first case, an error was made by a food vending company and is being reimbursed to the district; in the second, funds raised by the activity were used to pay expenses without having been deposited.

In the case of $1,130 in gift cards purchased for students, the auditor wanted an accounting of how the cards were distributed.

Warner said the district had some problems in the audit because accounting rules have gotten tougher, not because the district's bookkeeping has gotten worse.

"A lot of the citings are accounting-related and it is simply how things are posted to accounts," Warner said.