The hardest working crew at the Capitol?


For my money, nobody works harder than the folks at the Office of the Legislative Auditor at the Capitol. 

In less than one month, the nonpartisan audit and evaluation group has released reports bringing the following facts to light:

* An examination of alternative education programs in Minnesota found that elementary and middle school students enrolled in alternative education facilities showed progress when participating in “extended-time” or afterschool education programs, but the Minnesota Department of Education has limited the number of school districts that can offer these programs.

* A look at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities showed that the $89 million System Office is growing more quickly than other parts of the higher education system, has received mixed reviews for its performance and needs better oversight.

* A look at the state’s public defender system finds it to be an overworked, underfunded, weak link in Minnesota’s judicial system with no easy way to fix it.

* A look at Minnesota’s Workforce programs finds gaps in providing help to people looking for jobs or training that result from a lack of integration and oversight of the system.

That’s not even mentioning audits of state payroll system security and the state’s 2009 fiscal statements.

It may not be sexy work, but these watchdogs are doing what they can to make sure your and my tax dollars are not wasted. For that, they deserve our thanks.