JCPS board member calls parts of recent audit tools for political gain
It comes as Kentucky Auditor Adam Edlen slammed the board for not understanding the budget, saying some new faces could be the fix.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A JCPS board member is dismissing the harsh parts of a recent state audit as tools planted for political gain.
It comes as Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen slams the board for not understanding the budget, saying some new faces could be the fix.
They're the seven people charged with the final say for more than 100,000 students in Jefferson County Public Schools, but this week, Auditor Adam Edelen said many of them don't fully understand how $1.2 billion in taxpayer money is being spent.
"Regrettably, the current structure and school board is insufficient to provide financial oversight," Edelen said. "Astoundingly, and by its own admission, there is no board review of such basics as year-over-year financial, or budget-to-actuals."
Linda Duncan has sat on the JCPS board for eight years. The former classroom teacher takes the defense.
"There's so much political behind what he did, and it's why I was opposed to it in the first place, because I knew he was going to run for governor, and I knew he was going to use us as a platform," Duncan said.
The heart of Edelen's report claims JCPS spends too much money on administration and not enough in the classroom. He says the board should create audit and budget committees and add two members to serve the district at large.
"I feel like I have a very good grasp of it," Duncan said. "The purpose of the board is not to manage the funds....we are elected representatives to oversee the people who manage."
Duncan says the board goes through budget training by the state and participates in several budget workshops with district administrators, but some of her colleagues lack that confidence. Some told auditors financial presentations are not logical or helpful and don't emphasize where the money goes.
"I think maybe more time is needed by the newer board members to get a better grasp," Duncan said.
"We don't have to have the expertise required to actually analyze what's going on," Duncan said. "We just need to make sure it makes sense...and to me, I see that."
Adding more seats behind this bench would first need legislative approval. JCPS already has the largest school board in the state.
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