Purchase orders stack up for trustees [Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Texas]
(Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 23--SAN BENITO -- School board members on Friday called a special meeting to review a mounting stack of purchase orders that Superintendent Antonio Limon can no longer approve without their authority.
Board President Yliana Rodriguez scheduled a Monday meeting to review district officials' requests for purchases that include books, school bus fuel, paper and an air conditioning unit, Limon said.
Meeting on Tuesday, board members voted 4-2 to require Limon to obtain school board approval to authorize purchases of $5,000 or more. The previous policy allowed him to authorize purchases of up to $25,000 without board approval.
Rio Grande Valley school districts including Harlingen, La Feria, Raymondville, Brownsville, McAllen and Donna allow superintendents to authorize budgeted purchases ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, according to their websites.
Limon said officials cannot wait until March 19, the next regular board meeting, to request the board's approval for the purchases.
The new policy would require board members to meet once or twice a week to authorize purchases, Limon said.
School board Vice President Anna Cruz said the new policy ties Limon's hands.
"It's affecting the day-to-day operations of the school district," Cruz said. "(Limon) should make these decisions. We shouldn't be getting involved in everyday operations. These purchase orders that are being held back are affecting our students' educations and teachers' resources."
Purchase orders include a $24,300 request for diesel fuel, a $19,300 request for paper, an $8,800 request for geometry books for San Benito High School and a $5,600 request for an air conditioning unit for Veterans Memorial Academy.
Other purchase orders include requests for laptop computers, iPads, a camera and video projectors for Miller Jordan Middle School, according to the meeting's agenda.
Rodriguez could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
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