A regular audit of the Port of Seattle expenses shows $13.6 million in taxpayer funds that should have gone to sound-proofing for Highline schools, continually buffeted by planes taking off and landing at Sea-Tac. Instead, the Port decided to help fix up and run a college prep school called Aviation High, basically a breeding ground for people destined to work for the Port in some degree. "The Port makes jobs, and we go to school so we can fill 'em up," says Quinn Schiller, a student at the school profiled in this video:
The Port is not authorized to spend money on school construction and operation, according to auditors, re: It's against the law for the Port to invest in public schools. Besides, don't we already have a government entity for that? Not only did they give away taxpayer funds, but the Port lent all that money for school upgrades 18 months before construction even started. That's some bad math according to the audit board. They estimated the Port lost $532k dollars in interest dividends by not keeping all those millions in a bank account (sheesh, everyone's a financial adviser these days).
The Port officials explained that their "vested interest" in the overall health of Aviation High, the community, and not just to breed future employees. They also say the other schools will get their 'noise mitigation' sound-proofing eventually when the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Aviation Administration matching funding kicks in.
Though the legislature may bring in Port commissioners in for questiong, the audit board itwself can't really do much more than say "Hey, you're breaking some laws. It's our professional opinion you shouldn't do this", but hey, isn't it nice to at least know how your tax dollars are really being spent?