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Shuttered Columbus Charter School Owes State $340,770
Columbus – A charter school shut down by its sponsor in 2015 has yet to repay any of the $340,770 it owes to the state, according to a closeout audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
The FCI Academy (Franklin County) never repaid $324,694 in foundation payments it received from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in July and August 2015 for the 2015-16 school year.
The academy did not open for instruction that school year because its sponsor, the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, ordered it to suspend operations on Aug. 24, 2015, just before classes were scheduled to resume. ODE sent a letter to the academy later that week, notifying its treasurer of the $324,694 owed, but none of the money was returned.
“Poor management ran this charter school aground,” Auditor Yost said. “The financial losses to taxpayers are significant, but the biggest victims here are the students and parents who had the rug pulled out from under their feet at the start of the school year.”
The audit also determined the academy failed to repay $16,076 in overfunding that ODE identified in its full-time equivalency (FTE) adjustment for fiscal year 2015, which was finalized on March 3, 2017.
Auditors issued $340,770 in findings for recovery against the academy in favor of ODE. As of Feb. 29, 2017, the academy had a bank balance of $86,110 and outstanding liabilities totaling $632,339, including the amount owed to ODE.
A full copy of this report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.