The Delaware Auditor of Accounts office released a report today on School District Tax Rates for the past two school years, Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016. It shows many school districts receiving more in taxes than they were allowed based on the tax warrants. While these were not huge amounts in many cases, a few districts raised red flags in my book.
But why is the tuition tax not included in this report? Why is their no inspection by the Auditor’s office to make sure those funds are allocated where they are supposed to and not elsewhere? This report is lacking in many details. While it caught a few things, it is not enough. Under Delaware state code, the Auditor’s office is failing in their fiduciary duty to perform what is required by the law. You can blame that on funding and staffing issues for the Auditor of Accounts office but if Delaware State Code indicates a state office must perform a duty necessary to adhere to state law, the General Assembly MUST fund that office so they are able to carry out those duties. Since they haven’t been, the General Assembly has been derelict in their duty.
What kills me is the end of the report:
This information is intended solely for the information and use of DOE and the management of the school districts. It is not intended to be, and should not be, used by anyone other than these specified parties. However, under 29 Del. C. 10002(1), this report is a public record and its distribution is not limited. This report, as required by statute, was provided to the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Controller General, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Office of Management and Budget.
So how many reports are out there that the public has not seen? I have a feeling it is quite a lot. I smell a FOIA coming because I want to see ALL the reports that are considered public but are not listed on the Delaware Auditor of Accounts website…
Updated, 3:13pm: This is listed on the auditor’s website, but after State Rep. Earl Jaques admission that he has seen annual audits performed by the Auditor’s office for each district, I have to believe there are a ton of reports the public never sees. Why all the secrecy?