PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said his recent performance audits of the Pennsylvania Department of Education show the department did not provide adequate assistance to 561 academically challenged schools with 310,000 students enrolled.
The 89-page audit report, which covers July 1, 2010, through Aug. 1, 2015, includes the results of two performance audits of PDE and 30 recommendations for improvement to address four findings:
• PDE failed to provide additional assistance to poor-performing schools,
• Board of Education failed to update the master plan for basic education since 1999,
• PDE failed to monitor special advisors and assistants, and
• PDE relied on retired employees to fill critical positions and violated the state employees’ retirement code.
From DePasquale: “It is astonishing to me that so many schools — with more than 310,000 students — may not be receiving the extra support they need to help their students succeed academically. If PDE continues to overlook these institutions and the students they serve, more and more children will struggle scholastically further down the road. It also is disturbing that for 16 years, the State Board of Education — which is responsible for setting statewide education policy — failed to develop and implement a statutorily required basic education master plan to be issued every five years.“