The Kansas Truth Caucus issued the following statement in response to the Legislative Post Audit study, which revealed the Kansas Department of Education may have violated state law by misallocating as much as $405 million in taxpayer dollars over a period of several decades through the transportation weighting factor:
“We are deeply concerned when taxpayer dollars appear to be misallocated in direct violation of state law. Elected legislators are constitutionally responsible as appropriators of the peoples’ money—not staff members or judges. We join with legislative leadership in calling for an independent, forensic audit that will further reveal the truth behind what happened and why. That process should be free of politics, with a focus on the rule of law as determined by Kansas statutes.
“A deeper issue is the complexity of the school finance formula, which created an environment for this type of significant mistake to occur, thereby potentially damaging the credibility of the formula itself. No transparency with no internal audits leaves the door wide open to mistakes and even corruption. As we consider school finance solutions, these factors should be considered - including more oversight and internal audits - so public trust can be restored.
"In the end, these are taxpayer dollars and the public deserves no less than a complete accounting of what happened and why, and assurances that errors like these will not happen in the future. Misuses such as these call into question the rationale for higher taxes when literally hundreds of millions in tax dollars have potentially been misappropriated in direct violation of legislative intent."