PPS responds to recommendations of year-long Secretary of State audit1/9/2019
Portland Public Schools leaders emphasized the district’s commitment to financial stewardship, taxpayer accountability and equitable educational outcomes for all student following the Jan. 9 release of a year-long performance audit. The audit of PPS and the Oregon Department of Education was conducted at the request of the Oregon Secretary of State.
PPS issued a detailed response to the 98-page audit in which it showed that most of the recommended reforms are already underway under new district leadership.
"We are addressing each and every concern raised in the audit,” district leaders said in a statement. “We will continue our transformative work, guided by research, by data and other best practices to ensure we are raising educational outcomes for of our students.”
The audit provided a historical evaluation of issues in PPS, reaching back to a 1998 audit as a reference. As a result, many of the findings were about “legacy” issues that district leaders and the Board of Education have already identified and are addressing. Among the things the district has already undertaken:
- Strengthened financial oversight and health, which were shown to be “clean” by a recently released annual external audit.
- Implemented a comprehensive core curriculum in every school.
- Addressed such issues as accountability, transparency, and student safety through major Board policy revisions.
- Diversified legal representation and cleared a backlog of prior litigation.
- Strengthened contracting processes to include performance metrics and enhance transparency and oversight.
- Evaluated equity funds to assure they reach the students who most need them.
- Added teaching positions to ensure reasonable class sizes and added counseling and mental health position to help students overcome barriers to success.
The audit, initiated at the request of Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, was conducted with the full cooperation of PPS.