Culture change and right-sizing credited for near-perfect report card for Kansas City Public Schools

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A recent audit of the Kansas City Public Schools District indicated signs of financial improvement. The district received a near-perfect score.

KCPS either met or exceeded standards of financial compliance for 12 areas audited. Independent auditors were hired to examine the financial workings of the district.

It might have taken more than two years, but cut-backs and school closures have finally resulted in a near-perfect audit for KCPS. Superintendent Dr. Steve Green credited a culture change inside the district for the success.

However, the major alterations to district finances were made well before his reign at KCPS.

In 2010, Superintendent Dr. John Covington made dramatic staff cuts and closed more than 20 school buildings. Those choices put the district on the path to financial strength. The new administration has worked to shore-up the process.

On Thursday, KCPS announced the results and said it's the first time in decades it's seen such success.

"Because we've done this while our revenue has decreased, but we've decreased our expenses at a rate that is higher than our revenue has decreased, therefore, we have a strong general fund balance. That allows us to redirect dollars to teaching and learning which is the focus of work as we increase student achievement and work toward accreditation," Green explained. "We've gone back as early as 1970, and it's been since then that the district has been at no findings of a material nature."

Now, he said, the real challenge is sustainability.

Green said his team is committed to making sure the district retains the same results next year.

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