State News

November 30, 2013

Audit finds charter schools often unchecked

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 that 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, in metro Atlanta, 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.


Text Only
State News
  • One charged in death of Dalton woman, another sought

    A Dalton woman found dead in Calhoun earlier this month is believed to have died of a drug overdose after two Calhoun residents abandoned her in a car behind the VFW on East Line Street, Lt. Tony Pyle with the Calhoun Police Department said Wednesday afternoon.

    June 18, 2014

  • Guard shot at FedEx center to undergo 14th surgery

    A security guard critically wounded when a gunman went on a rampage at a FedEx facility is scheduled to undergo his 14th operation Tuesday.

    May 27, 2014

  • Arson ruled out as cause of chemical plant fire

    Police say investigators have been able to rule out arson or foul play as the cause of a massive fire at a chemical plant outside Atlanta that spewed black smoke and flames visible for miles.

    May 27, 2014

  • Teen tied to shopping cart drowns in lake

    Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials say a teen has died after being tied to a shopping cart and pushed into Lake Allatoona.

    May 25, 2014

  • Underground tattoo artists frustrate officials

    The work of tattoo artists whose living rooms double as body art studios might come cheap, but experts say the unsterile -- and illegal -- work environments could leave clients in pain long after the initial sting of the needle subsides.

    May 25, 2014

  • No runoff lets Republicans focus on Rep. Barrow

    While Georgia Republicans have to wait until July to settle runoff races for the U.S. Senate and three open House seats, one of the biggest GOP victories in the primary elections last week went to Augusta businessman Rick W. Allen.

    May 25, 2014

  • Audit probes juvenile justice turnover rate

    A state audit cites low pay, long hours and management concerns as reasons for a relatively high turnover rate at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

    May 25, 2014

  • Atlanta schools ex-tech director to be sentenced

    After his relationship with the superintendent of Atlanta’s school system soured, a former technology director for the district set up a kickback scheme to pad his pockets before he left his job, according to court documents.

    May 24, 2014

  • Georgia veteran, 92, honored at surprise ceremony

    Family and friends surprised a 92-year-old World War II veteran from Georgia on Memorial Day by honoring him and presenting him with the World War II Victory Medal.

    May 24, 2014

  • Police: Massive chemical plant fire extinguished

    Authorities say a massive fire at a chemical plant outside Atlanta that spewed black smoke and flames visible for miles has been extinguished.

    May 24, 2014