State audit finds JCPS spending $3M per year in old warehouses - WDRB 41 Louisville News

State audit finds JCPS spending $3M per year in old warehouses

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The state audit[or's report finds JCPS spends $3M per year on an "outdated" warehouse system. The state audit[or's report finds JCPS spends $3M per year on an "outdated" warehouse system.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After a state audit criticized JCPS for not spending enough money on students in the classroom, WDRB is digging deeper into one of the most significant inefficiencies investigators discovered: old warehouses.

Don Coss works in a building that looks like a giant grocery store for the classroom.

"We pick orders, make delivers, deliver mail -- several different things," Coss said.

It's the largest of six warehouses for the state's largest school district. The aisle is filled with science kits, cleansers and paper stacked floor to ceiling.

"That amount would last JCPS about a month," said Bruce Fowler, director of supply services for JCPS.

The district orders in bulk, stores supplies and ships to schools on demand.

"Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday is pony -- I have 32 stops," Coss said.

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen says JCPS needs to learn a new way.

"It's hard to believe that an inefficiency that has cost taxpayers at least $3 million a year has been ignored until now," Edelen said.

The auditor's report on JCPS spending finds the warehouse system costly, outdated and unnecessary.

Teachers complain of supplies taking months to get to the classroom, which is why Edelen is pushing a "just in time" delivery system.

It's just one of the 200 recommendations to cut the fat in the district and get more dollars to students' desks.

"Just in time" eliminates the middle man, so instead of giant stacks of paper sitting in a JCPS warehouse, it goes directly from the vendor to the school.

Superintendent Donna Hargens told Louisville Rotary Club members Thursday she's open to this and many more ideas.

"I have no doubt that we can make improvements related to every finding," Hargens said.

There's no timeline yet for the improvements because it's a complete shift in operation.

But it is being studied.

"We're going to try to adjust look at what we're doing and save a few dollars if not more," Fowler said.

And that's a bit unsettling for the workers -- 58 others just like Don suddenly are feeling a little less job security.

"If I worry about it, then it will affect my performance, so I just got to keep moving," Coss said.

JCPS is already using "just in time delivery" in its food service facility.

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