Audit determines state charter schools often going unmonitored
by The Associated Press
December 01, 2013 12:31 AM | 878 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

MACON — A new state audit determined no one is monitoring how Georgia’s charter schools spend almost $11 million in state funding.

The Macon Telegraph reported the review found there was little evidence that about $10.6 million in state appropriations for charter school systems is working.

The audit said the problem was partly because no one is keeping track of how money is spent.

Requested by state legislators, the report is signed by state Auditor Greg S. Griffin. Referring to charter school spending, it said “oversight has been limited up to this point,” and that the Department of Education has not contracted for a legally required evaluation because the state agency itself reportedly did not have the money.

A limited review of four systems did find a positive impact on academic performance.

In all, 16 school systems are in the charter school program in Georgia, which authorized the creation of charter schools in 2007.

Funding amounts have varied across the state. School systems were supposed to have gotten $104 per student last year, but those figures were affected by austerity cuts and other changes.

In reality, most school systems received between $80 and $90 per student, the audit showed.

Fulton County received $4 million in charter school funding for the 2013 fiscal year, the most in the state, according to the report.

The school system in the town of Dublin, which received $218,455 in charter school funding, told auditors it used the money for teacher training and to transport students to its three academically themed elementary schools.

Putnam County schools, which received $233,136 in charter funding, said it was using the money to make up for lost revenue, as well as to train teachers, hire a drama teacher and launch a teacher grant program.

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