Concerned with obvious problems with the way local Kentucky schools and school boards are managing their money, Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen’s office has released a set of 75 suggestions for how boards can do their job more efficiently. These recommendations should be very helpful to local school board members and others who direct the expenditure of tax dollars.
However, the need for some of these suggestions makes it clear that local school managers and boards are not putting in much effort on the job.
For example, here is Recommendation 8:
“We recommend the Board adopt a policy that the Superintendent report all personnel actions to the Board, as required by KRS 160.390.”
In other words, know and follow the law. It is sad that the auditor needs to say this.
I am surprised that Recommendation 15 is even necessary. It reads:
“The Board should maintain copies of the Superintendent’s contract for an annual review by all Board members. In addition, a copy of the contract should be placed in the Superintendent’s personnel file and provided to the Board’s attorney.”
Of course, not following such policies opens the door wide for corruption. That sort of corruption has recently seen one former Kentucky school superintendent sent to federal prison and another awaiting trial as I write this.
Recommendation 16 is a closely related indication that some local boards must be clueless about their duties. This one reads:
“The full Board, Board Chair, or a designated Board committee should be made responsible for routinely reviewing the Superintendent’s benefits and the costs associated with those benefits. This review should ensure the district only compensates the Superintendent for the amounts specified in the contract, including base salary and fringe benefits such as professional dues.”
I’ll bet our business leader readers are rolling their eyes about that one.
In any event, if you are one of the growing group of citizen monitors of local school activities, Edelen’s list makes a great ruler to hold up to your local school system. I suspect you will find some issues that might just help save some money and make your tax dollars work better for our kids.