Audit Will Help Build Public’s Trust

Hancock County Board of Education members are divided on whether a forensic audit of school finances should be conducted. During a recent meeting at which such action was approved, the vote was 3-2.

Board minutes indicate the audit is to “take care of an investigation in our finance department.” State Department of Education officials had recommended the examination.

Precisely what type of investigation is involved has not been revealed. But the very fact that such a probe is underway argues in favor of the planned audit by an outside firm.

Controversy over how schools are administered has been an unpleasantly regular feature of board meetings this year, with relations between the members and Superintendent Tim Woodward distinctly frosty. Woodward’s contract has not been renewed.

Public confidence in the school system and those who administer it is crucial for various reasons. Certainly not the least of them is taxpayer support of the district.

An audit, with the results made available to the public, is one way the board can prove it is looking into questions about administration — and is not trying to hide anything.

Transparency leads to trust, after all.

Money used for the audit will be spent well, if only in the name of keeping Hancock County residents in the loop.

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