September 17. 2017 2:13AM

Cars for colleges? Feeling run over, taxpayers?


State Sen. John Reagan will chair a hearing this week regarding an audit of the state community college system. It ought to be a beaut.

"The recommendations and observations are so disturbing," Reagan told the Sunday News last week, "that we have to do something about it."

That is for certain. And Reagan's Public Higher Education Study Committee can start with the low-hanging fruit: company cars for presidents of all the community colleges.

What on earth is the rationale for taxpayers footing the bill for cars for these people? If a community college president is spending so much time away from his or her community college location, on business, then the college trustees need to have a chat with the president.

When such a president is legitimately driving somewhere, reimbursement for her gas mileage is in order. What is out of order is a system that is comfortable with such perks, and one that has no system-wide policies for a fleet of vehicles that numbers at least 54 cars, SUVs, and light trucks.

But wait, there's more. The audit found that the community college system, which received $46 million from state taxpayers last year, could not account for where and on what the money was spent.

"Lack of policies and procedures often resulted in colleges completing the same task in different ways, potentially leading to inefficiency,"' reads the audit.

The lack of a plan meant that the system could not explain to auditors why one school received about $8,200 per student while another school received about $2,800 per student during the same time period.

And New Hampshire doesn't do enough to support higher education? Please.