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Legislative Audit Commission

Minutes

February 2, 2000

The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Representative Dan McElroy on Wednesday February 2, 2000 at 1:10 P.M. in Room 316, State Capitol.

Members Present:

Representative Lynda Boudreau    Senator William Belanger
Representative Chris Gerlach Senator Dave Johnson
Representative Mindy Greiling Senator Keith Langseth
Representative Philip Krinkie Senator Thomas Neuville
Representative Peggy Leppik Senator Deanna Wiener
Representative Dan McElroy
Representative Wes Skoglund

Members Excused:

Representative Phil Carruthers Senator Sheila Kiscaden
Representative Kris Hasskamp Senator David Knutson
Representative Mary Jo McGuire    Senator James Metzen
Senator Ember Reichgott Junge
Senator Claire Robling

Representative McElroy indicated the purpose of the meeting was to review the program evaluation report on school district finances. He recognized Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for the Program Evaluation Division. Mr. Brooks gave a brief summary of the reasons why the Legislative Audit Commission selected this topic for study. He introduced John Yunker, project manager, and evaluation specialists David Chein and Judy Randall.

Mr. Yunker reviewed the questions addressed by the study, research methodology used, school district spending trends, reasons why some school districts are having financial problems, and conclusions reached as a result of the study.

Representative McElroy recognized Representative Matt Entenza. Representative Entenza asked about changes in student/teacher ratios and whether or not data broken down by elementary, middle, and secondary levels was available. Mr. Yunker indicated that based on data from the Department of Children, Families & Learning, it is possible to determine ratios by district at the elementary level, but it is not possible to get data on middle schools. Mr. Yunker answered additional questions from members of the Commission.

Representative McElroy recognized Barbara Yates, Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Children, Families & Learning. Ms. Yates reviewed the agency's response contained in the report and answered questions from members.

Members asked if it would be possible to get information on individual school districts. Representative McElroy recognized James Nobles, Legislative Auditor. Mr. Nobles indicated that copies of individual survey responses would be made available to members by request and that data sets would also be posted on the agency's web site.

The meeting adjourned at 2:15 P.M.

_______________________________________
Representative Dan McElroy, Chair

_______________________________________
Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary

 

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