Last year the Utah legislature wanted to find out how school districts were using the extra Class Size Reduction (CSR) money they had been allocated. The auditor's report was released in December and revealed an accounting horror show.
"inconsistencies", "data discrepancies", "data is not fully audited for accuracy", "staff generally accept that older data is less reliable", "need additional time to research".
These are not audit findings anyone wants to see.
And it looks like it's the Legislature's fault. Accourding to the audit report, in 2003 they changed the rules regarding CSR tracking, no longer making it mandatory to account for the extra money seperately. Not surprisingly, most districts then dumped their CSR tracking systems. In the words of the auditors, "These districts' records identify expenditures but do not tie them back to a specific revenue source, increasing the difficulty of determining how CSR funds were used."
Over 60% of the money allocated to reduce class sizes is unaccounted for. Not cool. Granted, the auditors were able to perform some other tests that suggest that the money was used appropriately, but, again, with good accounting we'd know for sure. It's all about the accounting, people.
So next time you see an accountant on the street, pat him/her on the back and say thanks for ensuring your child gets a proper education.