BIRDSBORO - An audit has found that the Daniel Boone School District overspent its budget by $1 million.

"I think this should be a real eye-opener to us," said school board Finance Chairman Richard Fidler.

One of the areas where overspending occurred was the cafeteria fund.

Business Manager Robert Bru-chack told the school board that the spending problem was not caused by the district's contracted food pro-vider, SodexHo.

The overspending occurred be-cause of equipment the district needed to purchase for the new middle school and for the Monocacy Kin-dergarten Center when full-day Kin-dergarten started last year, Bruchack said.

Another area that caused a problem in the fund balance was paying substitute teachers while teachers were absent or attending conferences, according to Superintendent David Robbins.

Payments to substitute teachers was $158,000 over budget, according to Fidler.

Teachers will not be attending conferences unless already appro-ved, Robbins said.

"I'm not letting anybody out unless they have to go," Robbins said. "If the staff is not there, their instruction is not taking place in the classroom."

Also eating into the budget are payments to charter schools, which went $103,000 over budget, officials said.

The district has about 50 students who attend charter schools.

Utilities also went over budget by $110,000 due to rising fuel costs.

"My concern is I'm getting ready to do a budget for next year and I need to make sure we're on track," Fidler said.

The school district returned 1 mil of real estate revenue back to taxpayers via refund in August after the district received more money from the state than originally expected.

"Had I known this then, I would not have been in favor of that," Fidler said.

He said he would like to see the district create a budget reserve account since the district is locked into limiting tax increases under Act 72.

"It becomes a budget item and you put money aside for unexpected expenditures," Fidler said.

In other business, the school board voted to refinance $36.4 million in bonds that will save the district $1 million over three years.

The money can be used in the general fund or for capital projects. The refinancing of the bonds will not increase the district's debt service.

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