The Kansas Attorney General’s Office isn’t investigating reports that the Kansas Deputy Education Commissioner unlawfully allocated extra transportation funding to schools, but AG officials may step in after an independent financial audit.
Jennifer Montgomery, a spokesperson for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said an audit is a prudent next step.
“Our office is not conducting an investigation of this matter at this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation,” she told the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis is under fire after a legislative post audit discovered he authorized additional transportation funding for some school districts, contrary to state statute. The audit revealed Dennis, a 50-year employee of the Kansas State Department of Education, may have allocated the extra funding for 45 years, costing taxpayers more than $400 million not authorized by the legislature.
Senate President Susan Wagle and Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman sent a letter to the chair of the Kansas Board of Education requesting the Dennis be placed on administrative leave with pay while the department completes an internal audit.
The deputy commissioner of education serves at the pleasure of the Commissioner of Education Randy Watson. Watson, who serves at the pleasure of the Kansas State Board of Education, met with Schmidt, a handful of lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback yesterday to discuss the legislative post audit report.
The Kansas State Board of Education will hold a special meeting today. The only item on the agenda is an executive session to discuss personnel matters.