A long awaited audit of the Fayette County School system, which serves Lexington, Kentucky, has finally been released and some of the findings are incredibly troubling.
According to the first news release from the Lexington Herald-Leader, the auditor’s findings include:
• Weaknesses in budget and financial-management processes,
• Administrative and management salary increases that outpace other district employees,
• Excessive and unnecessary travel,
• Misuse of a trust fund, and
• Conflicts of interest.
One of the most chilling comments in the auditor’s press release about the school district:
“This examination found that unfortunately, it’s not all about the kids.”
The auditor also discussed:
“…a culture within certain elements of management that does not reflect the district’s purported values. Our kids deserve better.”
I guess that about says it.
It remains to be seen if there will be a shakeup in this increasingly turmoil-ridden school system. The auditor clearly says he found no criminal activity, but plenty of management issues. The district already is issuing denials and disputes with the auditor’s findings, making the final outcome in Fayette County anyone’s guess. But, based on Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen’s track record to date and his growing experience with the intricacies of doing audits in school districts, I suspect the audit’s findings are quite sound with few, if any, flaws. Hopefully, Fayette County leadership will wake up to that fact and start fixing instead of fussing.