Face the State is on top of a story about public education agency fiscal mismanagement that I’ve personally been aware of for some time. I urge you to read the story and ask yourself several questions:
– Is Centennial BOCES an isolated case or symptomatic of a larger trend?
– Why do some in power in the local education establishment strenuously resist real financial oversight and accountability?
– Why are taxpayers constantly begged for more funds for the school system, yet struggle to find a clear, careful, and comprehensible accounting of how all public funds are spent? (Have you ever requested a copy of your local school district’s budget and financial statements to review?)
– Shouldn’t we encourage the State Auditor and/or the State Board of Education to undertake a formal audit of Centennial BOCES?
Let me make something clear: the overwhelming majority of people who work in public school administration are decent and well-intentioned. And some local school districts and other agencies have many good internal financial controls. But state policy makers can do a lot more to ensure fair and sensible policies that create real financial accountability and transparency.
It’s an issue of empowering parents and taxpayers, and instilling confidence in them that the schools to which so many have entrusted their children are spending money wisely and efficiently.