A third of the state’s charter schools, including its largest one, are undergoing reviews to ensure their student enrollment and attendance numbers match the payments they’re receiving from the state.
Some of the 104 charter schools are undergoing reviews because it’s time. They’re reviewed at least every five years. Some are getting looked at after being identified in a state auditor’s report last year. Since state money goes to charters based on enrollment, the Department of Education’s budget and funding director Aaron Rausch says there’s a problem when enrollment and attendance numbers don’t match.
“That’s not to say that learning opportunities didn’t occur but that the school wasn’t able to provide us with documentation that would support that.”
At least two schools have had to give back hundreds of thousands in state funds after fewer students were found than were claimed. This year’s review includes the 18-thousand student charter school ECOT, the state’s largest.