Topeka – Kansas House of Representatives Rep. Lana Gordon (R-Topeka) testified Thursday before members of the Kansas 2010 Commission about the establishment of a state centralized accounting and reporting system for the receipts and expenditures of Kansas school districts.
“Early in my service in the Kansas Legislature, I became frustrated by the lack of transparency in school finance,” Rep. Gordon told the commission. “It was difficult to make accurate comparisons because from school district to school district accounting or reporting may be done differently.”
Rep. Gordon told the commission a centralized accounting and reporting system would not only benefit the Legislature in its ability to more clearly compare monies spent within districts and between districts; but it also would provide good data for school boards and administrators.
“Until we can truly compare apples to apples in districts, we still do not have the most accurate information of how school districts are spending their allocations,” Gordon said. “I have always believed that one might find that more funding may be needed in some areas and less in others, but it is hard to be sure when the exact amounts are not substantiated by facts and only lumped together. It would be my goal to see things line by line on actual expenditures as well as income such as State and Federal funding amounts.”
Gordon shared her plan that would help all those involved with educating our children, to make better decisions.
“There are still questions that need to be answered before complete implementation of a centralized accounting and reporting system. However, I feel that it is incumbent upon us as good citizens and Legislators, to derive a more accurate picture of expenditures on all items paid with taxpayer dollars, but in particular; school finance, which comprises over 50% of our budget,” Rep. Gordon said.
Rep. Gordon introduced HB 2175 this last legislative session. It directs the State Board of Education to develop and maintain a centralized accounting and reporting system. Each district would have remote access to work with the program.