Sunday, April 24, 2011

Poster Child for Poorly Run Community Schools

The Charter School Scandals (CSS) website was created to provide the public with a source of independently collected information about U.S. charter schools. The site contains several reports on charter schools in the state of Ohio. One of the reports is on the Imani Institute Leadership School--a "community" or charter school in Cleveland, Ohio.

On December 21, 2006 then Auditor of the State of the Ohio, Betty Montgomery, released a special audit of the Imani Institute Leadership School. The findings of the report led the State of Ohio to seek to recover $341,000 from the Superintendent of the school, Donna Johnson. According to the report, the school could not account for an additional $482,159 in federal grant money

Here is a portion of the report from Charter School Scandals:

"'The Imani Institute is, unfortunately, a poster child for poorly run community schools," said Montgomery. "From lack of bookkeeping to improper purchases, this school was clearly not run in a way that places emphasis on educating our children.'...

Throughout the special audit, Imani officials failed to provide receipt books or revenue and expense ledgers. Montgomery was forced to subpoena records from Imani's financial institutions in order to obtain information on Imani bank accounts. With considerable time and effort, auditors used the bank information to create a history of all of Imani's revenue and expenditures."... 
(Source: Charter School Scandals)

Imani Institute Leadership School's contract expired June 30, 2005. It was ineligible to reopen because it was unable to engage a new sponsor. The school opened in 2000. Shortly thereafter, this charter school operator moved to San Diego and opened up another charter school.

Although this is only one charter school, it does seem that there is a pattern of poor performance and mismanagement among many of Ohio's charter schools due to the lack of public oversight. This information seems to seriously call into the question the current plan in Ohio to aggressively ramp up the state's spending on charter schools when so many of them are currently exhibiting poor student achievement and inadequate oversight procedures as is.

Read the Full Report from Charter School Scandals:
Imani Leadership Institute School

Here is a Link to the Full Report from the State of Ohio Auditor:
Imani Special Audit Report