The Seattle school district has run afoul of the state auditor for years because of error-ridden payrolls, sketchy contracts, mishandled federal grants or loss of revenue from outside groups using district facilities.
But the latest audit, released Monday, found no new problems and reported that almost all of the earlier issues identified over the last three years have been resolved.
Seattle School Board member Sherry Carr, chair of the Audit & Finance Committee, credited recent changes in the district’s top management for imposing stricter internal discipline. A few years ago, the School Board also hired its own auditor, who has a staff and reports directly to the board.
The most recent state audit also acknowledges the changes at the top, noting that the district “has new management in several critical areas and has demonstrated a strong willingness to continue to address our audit recommendations.”
Last year, state auditors found that the district failed to charge rent for about 9,000 hours of usage by outside groups and hadn’t followed up on about $103,000 in past-due fees.
This year’s audit gives Seattle partial credit for fixing the problem, noting that the district beefed up its reservations policy and hired someone to help with invoicing and past-due accounts.
Carr has been on the board almost seven years and had never seen an audit look as clean as the latest one.
“I’m really happy,” Carr said. “This outcome reflects all of the hard work.”