Thursday, August 16, 2007

Riding the Audit Trail

AWSP was recently invited to attend a meeting on the status of our state's K-12 performance audits. These audits are the result of I-900, which passed in 1995, requiring independent audits of all state and local governments. ESDs were the first entity in the K-12 system to undergo the audits. No publish date yet on the findings from those audits.

Next up: the state's 10 largest school districts. This includes:
  • Seattle P.S.
  • Tacoma P.S.
  • Spokane P.S.
  • Kent S.D.
  • Evergreen P.S.
  • Lake Washington S.D.
  • Federal Way S.D.
  • Vancouver S.D.
  • Puyallup S.D.
  • Edmonds S.D.
At the meeting, representatives from the State Auditor's office and the independent audit group, Cotton & Company, discussed this next phase. Cotton lists K-12 audits as one of its areas of expertise.

According to Lou Adams, the state's K-12 performance manager, there are two dozen program areas that will be examined, including district business offices, transportation and food services, instructional technology and professional development. Each audit will look at the efficiency and economy of each district's administrative operations, including:
  • Gaps, overlaps in programs or services
  • The feasibility of pooling technology systems
  • Recommendations for regulatory changes to better allow districts to carry out their functions.
Site work is expected to run from Oct. 8 - Nov. 16 and the audit teams will spend one week in each of the 10 districts, save for Seattle. Results are expected in the spring of 2008.

ESDs and big districts have been put under the microscope with this initiative, came one question, so "what about OSPI?"

"They are on the radar screen," Adams said.

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