Dear Seattle PTA and PTSA Leaders,
As you likely have seen by now in the local media, Seattle Public Schools is currently faced with a financial scandal. Last fall, the State Auditor Office (SAO) was called in to investigate potential fraud in the district. The SAO's report was released last week and they found a former SPS employee responsible for $1.8M in questionable spending and fraud. It is extremely disappointing to learn this problem could exist within the district. A criminal investigation is underway. The School Board has posted documents on their section of the SPS website. To see the SAO's report, click here: http://www.sao.wa.gov/auditreports/auditreportfiles/ar1005180.pdf. To see the SAO's supporting documents, click here http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/flatpages/local/auditdocuments.html.
In addition to the SAO's work, the School Board hired lawyer Patricia Eakes, formerly with the King County Prosecutor's office, to do a separate investigation to determine who knew or should have known about the problems. A copy of this report is on the School Board's section of the SPS website. Click here to see the reporthttp://district.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/Final%20Investigative%20Report%20_Eakes.pdf?sessionid=c407944fd3738934ffa032cbe0cdb89e. To read the School Board's comments, click herehttp://district.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/BackgroundAndSundquistStatement_Final.pdf?sessionid=c407944fd3738934ffa032cbe0cdb89e.
The School Board hopes to take quick and decisive action. They will meet Tuesday in a private Executive Session. Further discussion will take place at Wednesday's School Board meeting. Wednesday's meeting will be televised and streaming online. Click here http://www.seattleschools.org/area/ibc/index.xmlfor more information on the broadcast of the meeting.
In addition to these investigations, the district and School Board are working to improve internal audit functions and increase whistle-blower policies. To read additional steps the School Board and SPS is taking to rectify the situation, click herehttp://www.seattleschools.org/area/auditresponse/SPS_Response_to_SAO.pdf.
President, Seattle Council PTSA