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Education

Audit: Kansas Department Of Education Illegally Gave Some School Districts Millions

school_bus_larry_darling_flickr.jpg
Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons
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A state report has found that the Kansas Department of Education has illegally provided millions of dollars to some school districts.

According to the audit arm of the Kansas Legislature, the Department of Education over the last five years has provided $45 million more than is legally allowed for transportation. The department has been using a minimum funding amount for densely populated districts like Wichita, but that minimum was removed from law in 1973.

The report suggests the payments to the school districts continue until the new school year.

"For them to suddenly lose millions of dollars they will need time, a chance to be prepared for that change," says Heidi Zimmerman, an auditor at the Kansas Division of Legislative Post Audit.

The report has two other recommendations: for the Department of Education to stop the funding, and for the Legislature to consider making the minimum funding a state law.

While the report only looked at the last five years, the funding likely goes back to when the minimum was removed. Department of Education officials told auditors that state lawmakers had told them to continue the funding, despite the change in law.  

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Follow Stephan Bisaha on Twitter @SteveBisaha.

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