Statement from Auditor Dave Yost
Concerning Community School Reform Legislation
Columbus – The following statement may be attributed to Auditor of State Dave Yost concerning the Ohio House of Representatives’ introduction of community school reform legislation:
“Now is the time for change and I applaud the leadership in the House for their movement to bring accountability to our broken system,” Auditor Yost said. “My office’s work is not a ‘one and done’ - we’re continuing to dig deep to find the truth and aid the General Assembly in forming substantive community school reform legislation.”
During the past four years, Auditor Yost identified several areas of concern during audits of problem community schools around the state. Last week, he released a report on a statewide community school attendance head count that identified seven schools with significant issues that require further investigation by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). He also offered several policy recommendations to ODE and school sponsors.
The following community school special audits are ongoing and expected to be released soon:
- A Southwest Ohio community school with allegations of unsupported student enrollment
- Community school sponsorships at 17 start-up community schools that either never opened or discontinued operations within one year of opening
- Sponsors being looked at include: St. Aloysius Orphanage, the North Central ESC, and the Warren County ESC
- Horizon Science Academies/Concept Schools
- Auditor Yost launched a special audit of the 19 schools after the office received allegations of possible manipulation of state-mandated academic performance assessments.
In previous sessions of the General Assembly, Auditor Yost worked with legislators to require community school treasurers to be licensed in the same way public school district treasurers are and to require new community schools to guarantee a $50,000 bond with the Auditor of State upon opening.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.