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State Audit Finds Some Phila. School District Bus Drivers Had Incomplete Background Checks

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An audit of the Philadelphia School District has revealed missing textbooks, incomplete background checks and a mismanagement of student data.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says his review of district operations showed that 21 of 49 school bus drivers reviewed had failed to complete background checks.

"We found two of those 49 bus drivers had pre-employment convictions that should have precluded them from being hired."

Convictions for assault, arson and drug possession. He credited the district for removing those drivers once their records came to light.

The report also said student attendance reports were unreliable. He said the district is moving to an electronic attendance system.

The audit criticized the district for losing track of textbooks after schools were closed in 2013.

DePasquale also said Philadelphia will never dig out its financial hole unless the city and state change how schools are funded.

Superintendent Wililam Hite agreed.

"When there are insufficient revenues and there are competing priorities, it makes a lot of the approaches very challenging."

The audit covered the district from 2008 to 2014.


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