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KC school district receives another clean audit

Updated: 2013-11-21T05:05:36Z

By JOE ROBERTSON

The Kansas City Star

While Kansas City Public Schools still has a high hill ahead in improving academic performance, its financial house remains in good order.

The district’s outside auditors reported a clean audit with zero findings of noncompliance for the second year in a row.

That was not the case when Welch & Associates encountered the district in 2008, Brian Welch told the school board Wednesday night.

The district had 19 major findings five years ago, including problems meeting the accounting requirements in federal Title I programs, food programs and Head Start early childhood programs.

It’s probably not a coincidence, Welch noted, that the auditors worked with five Kansas City school superintendents during the first four years.

The audit concerns have declined steadily, going from 19 findings in 2008 to four by 2011, followed by zeros in 2012 and 2013.

“I believe (the improvement) has a lot to do with stable senior management,” Welch said.

The school district is trying to turn around past misfortunes that led to the loss of accreditation in 2012.

The district made some improvements in academic performance the past two years to give it a chance at earning provisional accreditation. But most of the students in the district still performed below the proficient level this year.

The state board in October said it wants the district to show first that it can sustain growth for at least another year before considering giving the district provisional accreditation.

Kansas City Superintendent Steve Green said the financial stability should continue to help the district’s bid.

“I long for the day when the state gives us credit for the direction we are headed.”

To reach Joe Robertson, call 816-234-4789 or send email to jrobertson@kcstar.com.

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