KY Auditor boasts results of education audits - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KY Auditor boasts results of education audits

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky state Auditor Adam Edelen's office has spent the last year investigating 15 school districts across Kentucky. 14 of those audits are now complete, with the JCPS audit ongoing.

Edelen claims he is the first Kentucky auditor to implement an aggressive audit of the education system. It is something he says will ensure taxpayers are getting the most "bang for their buck," while also ensuring educational success for Kentucky children.

"We need to make sure that every dollar we invest in education is getting to the classroom and not being consumed by bureaucracies in our school districts that may be bloated," said Edelen.

Out of 14 districts targeted in the last year, two produced findings of abuse.

In Mason County, an investigation revealed questionable spending and excessive benefits for the superintendent.

At Dayton Independent outside Cincinnati, an audit found that the former superintendent received nearly $224,000 in unauthorized payments.

Edelen blamed these two cases on a lack of oversight by the school board. "When school boards become rubber stamps for superintendents, you have a higher likelihood of abuse or corruption."

President of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, Brent McKim, doesn't expect extreme revelations here in Louisville. "I don't think we expect to see that in Jefferson County, but we might see cost-saving opportunities that will help us deliver more services to kids in the classroom," he said.

During a press conference in April, JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said she was looking forward to the results of the audit, hoping it can cut waste.

"We need to ensure that every dollar we spend can be linked to how it actually relates to increased student achievement," she said.

Some districts showed no abuse at all, but still struggled with a lack of transparency. In Carroll County, for example, the auditor found technical issues when it came to reporting an educational trip by the Superintendent. "The Superintendent and the board there need to make sure that those benefits that the superintendent is able to take are ones that are clearly lined out in her contract," said Edelen.

Edelen says he will continue to investigate districts across the state.

He said there is no telling when the JCPS audit will be complete.

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