Akron Charter School Declared “Unauditable”

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Akron, Ohio -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor has declared the Phoenix Village Academy – Primary 1 community school “unauditable” for fiscal year 2007. The declaration means that the school’s financial records are incomplete and auditors cannot conduct a routine financial audit.

State law requires the school sponsor, Ashe Culture Center, Inc., to provide the Auditor of State with a written plan within 45-days describing their efforts to provide the documentation necessary to conduct an audit. Additionally, the sponsor is prohibited from opening any new community schools while the finances of the Phoenix Village Academy – Primary 1 are considered “unauditable.”

The Auditor of State has informed the Ohio Department of Education that certain school documents showing how tax dollars were spent are either missing, incomplete or inaccurate.  If financial records are not brought into an auditable condition within 90 days, state funding to the school could stop until the situation is corrected.  Payments to the school would resume once the “unauditable” condition is corrected.

In 2007, Taylor worked with the state legislature to improve accountability for Ohio’s community school system. As a result, a provision was enacted in the state biennial budget requiring the Auditor of State to notify the proper authorities when a community school is declared “unauditable.”

The Ohio Auditor of State’s office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364). Since taking office, Taylor has identified more than $13 million in public funds that were handled improperly, spent illegally or stolen and must be repaid.