Auditor General, legislators cast light on troubling PDE conduct

Auditor General, legislators cast light on troubling PDE conduct

During Thursday’s meeting with the House Republican Policy Committee, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale told committee members he’s uncovered a number of troubling actions on the part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education while conducting his department’s yet-to-be-released audit.

“[There] is a culture in that agency that is not healthy for fostering good education outcomes,” he told the committee.

He said that his department’s audit will focus on, among other things, what PDE does to help school districts that are struggling academically, specifically on reporting.

“School districts are incredibly frustrated,” he added. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: News and Views
What’s to be done about municipal pension reform?

What’s to be done about municipal pension reform?

While many of the state’s top policymakers are focusing on reforming state and public school pension issues, others are sounding the alarm on another potential pension crisis: the one affecting Pennsylvania’s municipalities.

Back in January, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held a press conference noting 562 of Pennsylvania’s municipalities have underfunded their pension plans to the extent that they are now in distressed status.

Monday, DePasquale was again bringing attention to the issue, holding a news conference with York Mayor Kim Bracey following the audit of that city’s pension system.

The audit revealed the city is $10 million behind in its pension obligation payments.

Monday, March 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal would require more short-term borrowing

Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal would require more short-term borrowing

According to Executive Deputy State Treasurer and Chief Counsel Chris Craig, the budget proposal offered by Gov. Tom Wolf last week counts on an increase in short-term borrowing, likely in the form of tax anticipation notes, to front-load the disbursement of funds to provide immediate increases in funding to items such as public schools.

It was noted that while the budget proposal calls for an increase in revenues, some of those revenue streams will not become effective until 2016—a full six months following the budget’s normal effective date.

“It would be anticipated that there would be a much more aggressive use of short-term borrowing to deploy it earlier than when sales tax revenues would come in,” he told members of the House Appropriations Committee during a Tuesday budget hearing with his department.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Auditor General: Jobs programs lack proper oversight

Auditor General: Jobs programs lack proper oversight

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a performance audit of grant programs in the Department of Community and Economic Development aimed at job creation, which found that accountability and transparency in the department in relation to the programs are lacking.

“These tools in the department that they have are important tools for job creation in Pennsylvania, I believe they do a good job there in the department,” DePasquale said. “They’ve done good work, and I think we just need to get better at it.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Auditor General: York City School District audit impeded by state receivership petition

Auditor General: York City School District audit impeded by state receivership petition

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Thursday took to the Capitol newsroom to express his frustration that his matter-of-course audit of the York City School District has to be halted due to the state’s request for the district to be put in receivership.

“One thing that I would say is odd, is that I have found the Department of Education is not efficient about anything,” DePasquale told reporters at Thursday morning’s briefing. “Yet, they seem to be efficient about this, that’s what I find odd.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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