Legislative panel steps up efforts to stop misuse of scarce education dollars
The Legislature’s Oversight Committee is stepping up its investigation into allegations that the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) misused taxpayer dollars.
Republican and Democratic members of the Committee voted unanimously on March 24 to seek the authority to subpoena current and former IASB employees who aren’t cooperating with this investigation.
At a time when teachers are being laid off and schools are making tough budget decisions, IASB employees paid themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars and used taxpayer money to take exotic vacations. Taxpayers are demanding accountability.
Getting to the bottom of this means the investigation will likely continue beyond the 2010 session. The Oversight Committee continues to hear testimony from IASB’s legal counsel, a private auditing firm, former CFO Jon Muller and nearly the entire board. With each hearing, there are new revelations about shoddy business practices.
The IASB’s mission is supposed to be providing legal and financial advice and other support services to local school boards. While that is a worthy goal, greater transparency is needed.
The Senate has already passed legislation requiring IASB to comply with open meetings and open records laws. As the investigation moves forward, the Oversight Committee will make further recommendations to ensure that this kind of abuse is not repeated.
Audio recordings of the hearings are available at http://www.legis.state.ia.us/AudioVideo/Oversight/83GA/.Posted Mar. 26th, 2010 at 7:25 am by Senate Staff
Tags: accountability, IASB, Oversight, Rich Olive, Steve Sodders, Tom Courtney, transparency