Major milestone: State auditors express high level of confidence in Tukwila’s academic and financial systems after ‘clean’ audit

Jan. 30, 2017

The state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) last Thursday commended the Tukwila School District for its significant improvements and best practices in academic and financial systems. Auditors showed their confidence in Tukwila by moving the district from a high-scrutiny annual cycle of audits to the normal five-year cycle.

“This is a major—major—accomplishment,” said Tukwila Superintendent Dr. Nancy Coogan. “When I became superintendent in 2013, we were in systemic crisis with more than 60 audit findings that threatened our federal funding. It’s a testament to the hard, smart work of many administrators across the district—who have given up countless weekends and breaks—that we have come this far in a few short years.”

The auditors last week performed an on-site Consolidated Program Review (CPR); this is a rigorous examination of the district’s management and accounting practices in the federally-funded programs for student achievement, highly capable, teacher and principal quality, civil rights, career and technical education, and family involvement, among other areas.

In particular, the auditors commended Tukwila for its responsiveness in supplying evidence to show compliance in each program as well as “efforts to build the McKinney-Vento program and support the needs of homeless students in the district,” according to the exit report.

Auditors were so satisfied in their findings that they were able to cut their expected length of the audit short and curtail visits to schools.

OSPI has kept the Tukwila School District on an annual CPR audit cycle as a way to closely monitor lack of compliance since before Dr. Coogan’s hiring. The shift to the normal five-year audit cycle is the result of auditors’ close examination and confidence in Tukwila’s systems.

“This should give our community assurance that we are using public resources in an accountable, transparent, student-centered manner, aligned with legal and best practices,” Coogan said.