She said more than 20 positions have been left unfilled because of the reorganization. In at least one case, the department has decided to use one person to replace two who left.
"While these reclassifications have occurred for re-organizational purposes, please keep in mind that there has been a reduction, a reduction via attrition in some places," Cordeiro said.
In a sign of how shorthanded the department says it is in some offices, it just signed a contract worth up to about $45,000 with a recently retired employee in its Office of Educational Technology.
According to the contract, the department will pay Kathy Boone $319 a day for up to 140 days of work while she also draws a retirement.
Cordeiro said the office was short staffed with two unfilled positions. Boone's retirement created a third.
"As soon as Kathy retired, there was this huge gap," Cordeiro said. "It wouldn't be responsible for us as a department of education to let that gap go unfilled."
State law says most retired public employees who resume working for the state must give up their pension benefits if they are paid more than $15,000 a year; but educators are in a different retirement system that allows them to get paid for up to 140 days of work a year.
Cordeiro said the department was thankful Boone had agreed to continue working. She emphasized Boone may not work all 140 days and would only work until a replacement can be found.
Through Cordeiro, Boone said she considers her part-time work to be for essential and transitional duties during a time of flux and given the other vacancies in the office.
Six months ago, Public Works said some local school officials were initially unsure if the department's reorganization would provide the sort of change the state - which has students who fare poorly compared to students across the country - needs.
The auditors said "many still see WVDE as 'playing with the edges' rather than taking bold steps to organize around centers of excellence."
Although some rhetoric about the audit has focused on shaking up the bureaucracy at the department of education, Public Works' audit said the single largest cost savings for the state would come if the state hired staff to monitor how much energy school buildings use.
Citing results of an energy efficiency program in Harrison County, auditors said the state could save about $6 million a year if all 55 counties could replace Harrison's savings. That's $27 million over five years, or about $6 million more than the state could save by re-organizing state department of education staff.