State auditors told the Kentucky Legislature’s Government Contract Review Committee today that Kentucky’s CATS school assessment program cost at least $18.6 million in 2008 – FAR higher than any figure I have seen previously – but the auditors were quick to point out that this figure does not include the total cost. The shocking reason is there simply isn’t any way to determine how much local school districts pay to support CATS testing.
The news article doesn’t mention why those costs are unavailable, but the answer is that the state’s MUNIS education finance system remains a mess more than two years after Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Report 338 identified major problems with this fiscal accounting program.
After almost 19 years of KERA, the idea that we still cannot accurately account for education spending, not even on big items like our assessment program, is simply an outrage.
So, hats off to State Representative Brad Montell R-Shelbyville, for calling this situation, “an unbelievably convoluted, mixed-up mess.” Representative Montell, that it surely is!