At a meeting last week of the Kansas Senate Assessment and Taxation committee, a Kansas school superintendent said cutting his pay and auditing his district are not the answers to Kansas budget problems.
Mike Mathes, superintendent of Seaman Unified School District 354 told Kansas Senator Karin Brownlee that he chose to “do what was necessary to get to the top of my profession. I believe I earn every penny I make.” He added that he didn’t believe the members of the legislature should take a pay cut, either.
He said he would not accept a pay increase until the budget crisis is over.
Earlier, Mathes responded to a question about the small number of Kansas school districts that participated in a voluntary audit program. He said that his district has been auditing its efficiency since he became superintendent eight years ago. He said that he looked at the audit of the Derby school district, a district close in size to his, and his district has done most of what the audit recommended for Derby.
Generally, the meaning of the word “audit” means an independent examination and evaluation. When a district self-audits, as Mathes says his district has, it’s not an independent audit. Further, audits are specific to an organization, such as the Derby school district. The results of it may not apply to Mathes’ district, and there may be things that can be done in Mathes’ district that an audit of a different school district can’t detect.