Wednesday, October 17, 2007

legislature's own auditors say schools lack oversight

In the wake of Federal and State embezzlement charges against officials in Davis and Weber Counties' School Districts, Utah's legislature wisely (lap that up because I won't use those words again in a while) asked the Office of the Utah Legislative Auditor General to audit and report on all school districts' controls to prevent such crimes in the future. For Davis County, the Auditor General's report found
  • Inadequate separation of duties

  • Centralized order and delivery for Title I purchases

  • Inadequate approval and review of vendors

We are also concerned that important monitoring controls at Davis were ineffective or not implemented.
These problems are similar to that of D.C.'s voucher school program and to what is a lack of oversight built into Utah's voucher bill.

Now, to be fair, the Auditor General's report also says that Davis and Weber's problems are getting fixed (at least partially) and that they have problems worse than other Utah school districts. But when school district officials are siphoning off millions of dollars for personal use, that is hard to top.


Jesse Harris said...

It also makes public school administrators that much more difficult to trust. It seems they're the real problem in our public school system.

Oldenburg said...

Let's assume for a minute that administrators are the problem. How are vouchers going to solve that problem? Private school administrators might be as bad or worse, and with basically no oversight, there will be temptation to dip into that voucher money for personal gain.