Audit Alleges Charter School Foundation Collected Over $3M Extra In Lease Payments | KGOU

Audit Alleges Charter School Foundation Collected Over $3M Extra In Lease Payments

Mar 17, 2016

A state audit released Wednesday shows a foundation designed to help charter schools has collected about $3.2 million more in payments from school building leases than it payed when it originally purchased the properties.

The audit looked at a two year period of finances from The Sky Foundation. From July 2012 to July 2014, the foundation collected nearly $2 million more in lease payments from public funds for Dove Charter Schools than it payed to lease other schools, according to The Oklahoman's Randy Ellis.

State Auditor Gary Jones said, “This has been going on for a long time. We just looked at a couple of years.”

From Ellis:

School foundations normally are created to provide private financial assistance to schools, but the Sky Foundation didn't operate that way, auditors said.

“We did not find any evidence of Sky soliciting funds on behalf of the schools or donating funds to the schools,” auditors said. “It appears the schools were supporting Sky instead of Sky supporting the schools.”

Auditors said the limited scope of the audit didn't allow them to track where all of the excess money from lease payments went but indicated some of the money may have been spent inappropriately.

Dove Charter Schools includes Dove Science Academy and Dove Science Elementary in Oklahoma City as well as Discovery School of Tulsa and Dove Science Academy in Tulsa. Officials from Dove Charter Schools did not return the newspaper’s requests for comment.

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