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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20130&cosponId=14969
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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 27, 2014 04:32 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Requesting a Forensic Audit to provide transparency into Philadelphia School District’s finances
 
In the near future, I will introduce a resolution urging the Auditor General of the Commonwealth, with the assistance of the City Controller of Philadelphia, to conduct a forensic audit of the Philadelphia School District. The audit would aim to provide a greater degree of transparency into the District’s finances, particularly its expenditure and use of federal, state and city funds.

As many of you know, the Philadelphia School District's finances appear to reflect a gap between revenues and expenses that will continue to grow if left uncorrected. The school district’s expenditures have outpaced revenues, requiring significant reductions in services to students. The school district reports that without $96 million in new funding, it will be forced to make $148 million in expenditure reductions including class sizes, school police, transportation services, special education, facilities and alternative education.

These cuts to education programs and services are an injustice to the students who continue to suffer as a result of the district’s financial turmoil. The state cannot in good conscience continue to spend increasing amounts of taxpayer money on the School District of Philadelphia without a greater level of accountability regarding how the district and School Reform Commission spends the funding it currently receives.

Under my resolution, the forensic audit would provide a complete picture of the district’s finances, expenditures and use of funds and grants over the last five fiscal years. The audit would also address any improprieties, negligence or misuse of funds received by the school district. Within six months of the adoption of the resolution, a report of the findings along with recommendations that would aid in fixing the school district's current fiscal crisis would be submitted to the General Assembly.

Please join me in calling for answers regarding the school district's current financial status and ensuring that funds are being allocated more appropriately and responsibly in the future. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925

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Introduced as HR935