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More than $100,000 in Findings Issued Against Closed Charter Schools
Columbus – Two closed northern Ohio charter schools received a combined $113,260 more than they should have from the state, according to audits released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
A review of the Next Frontier Academy’s (Summit County) data by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) determined that the school’s career technical education (CTE) data for fiscal year 2015 needed revisions due to a lack of adequate student records.
The updated data resulted in the school’s foundation allocations being reduced from $311,636 to $259,826 – a decrease of $51,810. Of that amount, $4,122 was deducted from the academy’s monthly foundation settlement sheets prior to year-end, leaving an outstanding balance of $47,688 owed to ODE.
A similar ODE review of student data at the Secor Gardens Academy (Lucas County) found the school received $61,450 more than the $152,346 it was entitled to. ODE sent letters to both schools notifying them of the overpayments.
“Schools like these tarnish the reputation of the entire charter school community,” Auditor Yost said. “The academies may have shut their doors, but they’re not off the hook for the $109,138 owed to the state.”
Findings for recovery in the amounts of $47,688 and $61,450 were issued against the Next Frontier Academy and the Secor Gardens Academy, respectively, for a total of $109,138.
The Next Frontier Academy’s management company, Blue Lake Educational Management Company, LLC, terminated its contract with the school on June 15, 2015. Two days later, the academy’s governing board passed a resolution to close the facility due to its inability to secure a new authorized sponsor. According to ODE, the school officially closed on June 30, 2015. Secor Gardens Academy closed on February 10, 2014 and ceased operations on March 11, 2014.
Full copies of these reports are available online.
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.
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