Legislative auditors report released on Dept. of Education

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new Legislative Audit report released Monday shows some problems with the way the State Department of Education is managing its charter schools.

Charter schools are independent, publicly funded elementary or secondary schools that are operated through a charter between a non-profit or other group and the state.

State law requires the state to monitor the academic, financial, and legal performance of charter schools annually. In 2010 the state put eight schools on probation. The audit says by 2012 the state did not follow up on the probationary status of seven of those schools. One had actually closed.

"The report is looking at the Charter school, it's not exactly how the charter schools are operating but from the Department of Education's prospective, that's what performance audits are all designed for. We give them recommendations we give them suggestions. The department is taking it seriously," says State Legislative auditor Daryl Purpura.

Barry Landry with the Department of Education released this written response on Monday: "Every school received one review of its compliance with state laws. The audit revealed a poorly written rule that required schools to have two of the same reviews, which makes little sense. We thank the legislative auditor for helping us to see the flaw in the rule and will update it immediately."

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