Saturday, November 5, 2011


As much as one hates to correct the editorial board when they're praising your work...
Several times this campaign season, the notion of an independent audit of the Worcester Public Schools finances has come up; most recently, it was endorsed by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette in their editorial regarding the School Committee race:
An independent audit of the school budget has the potential to break that impasse, giving school and municipal officials a single set of facts upon which to base future discussions and establish spending priorities.
 Would that it were true; if it were, this would have already happened.

The Worcester Public Schools are independently audited every year. In fact, it happens twice: once by a group looking just into school finance application of "agreed-upon procedures" (see my notes from that here) and once by the independent auditor that is brought in by the city annually (notes from that here). This was discussed not only by the School Committee, but also by the City Council.
You can find links to the reports here discussed off of this agenda.

This all costs the Worcester Public Schools more than two teachers' salaries.
This is also in addition to all WPS finances being under the eagle eye of the city's own independent (he is appointed by the City Council and explicitly does not report to the City Manager) auditor, which is part of what the city contribution is to the Worcester Public Schools.
Let's keep those suggestions on improving transparency and public accountability coming; let's just try to make them new ones, eh?

1 comment:

Jim Gonyea said...

This is something that the public always fails to notice and that the municipal officials always fail to note. In Leicester we had Selectmen who would push for an independent audit of the School District knowing all too well that such an audit was occurring every year and that they picked the auditor.