State Auditor

dalexeenko / Flickr

A new state audit has found Washington university credit cards were used to make more than $225,000 in purchases not allowed by state policies.

Most of the purchases were for alcohol or gifts. And the majority were made by people associated with the University of Washington.

A new state audit is calling for automatic notifications when someone like a foster parent or childcare worker is suspected of committing a crime any time after they've already passed an initial background check.

The automatic checks are being recommended to improve public safety. State Auditor Troy Kelley says this kind of check-back service is being developed or is already in use in 37 other states.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Not every student thrives in a traditional classroom, but changing technology and new research on learning mean Washington kids have more alternatives than ever. They can homeschool part-time or go to class online, even if it means enrolling in a district clear across the state. But that’s allowed a whole raft of questionable practices, and set up a dilemma for policymakers.

Majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature are working to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But they're not likely to implement a change the State Auditor says could save $180 million over the two-year budget cycle, as the idea runs afoul of the powerful teacher's union.

Washington State Parks mismanaged contracts resulting in a “gross waste of public funds.” That’s the conclusion of an investigation prompted by a whistleblower into a project at a state marine park on Puget Sound.