Auditor General will review the Department of Education, saying …

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General announced Thursday he will audit the state Department of Education after school district audits uncovered fiscal mismanagement he says the department should have caught.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he wants to make sure the department has the “structure, staff and resources to fulfill its oversight of schools.”

DePasquale’s office has audited more than 300 school districts. Most revealed no serious issues.

“In some we found problems complying with laws and regulations that fall under PDE’s oversight,” DePasquale said in a statement. “In the worst cases, we found wasted money that should have gone toward classroom education.”

In response to DePasquale’s announcement, Tim Eller, spokesman for the department, said “We welcome it.” 

Eller predicted DePasquale would find the department is upholding its duty to oversee education in the state, as outlined by the law. 

The department audit will date back to July 1, 2010, which stretches to former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration. DePasquale, a Democrat, hopes to complete the audit this year.

The audit will have two focuses, according to a news release:

  • “Evaluate the structure and authority levels between the State Board of Education and PDE in establishing education policy, rules, regulations, and procedures.”
  • “Evaluate PDE’s organizational structure, staffing levels, and resources to determine if these areas are sufficient to ensure that PDE fulfills its statutory mandates.”

— This story has been updated to include Eller’s comments.

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