Kentucky doesn’t mandate any qualifications for the top financial officers of its 173 school districts—and state officials are concerned that the situation is leading to waste and mismanagement, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting reports today.
You can read the story by Kristina Goetz here.
In it, KyCIR (our partners at Louisville Public Media) outlines a situation in the Monticello Independent school district in southern Kentucky, which was forced to merge with a neighbor because of mismanaged funds.
KyCIR also reports a state audit’s findings that a fifth of Kentucky’s school financial officers don’t have bachelor’s degrees—and many of those who do didn’t major in accounting or other finance-related fields.
Unlike teacher certification, Kentucky does not mandate education or experience levels for school finance officers. And while the majority have formal degrees, their areas of expertise aren’t always in finance. Some were former teachers. Others included a guidance counselor, a human resources officer, a medical billing employee and a bank teller.
The report also found instances where finance officers had other, conflicting jobs or duties. In five districts, for example, the finance officer was also the superintendent.
And below is data from the state audit on the experience and education of school financial officers from across the state: