Florida district may pay $1.5 million tab for charters’ errors

Friday, February 21, 2014

A state of Florida audit that uncovered sloppy paperwork at some Broward schools could force the district to absorb a $1.7 million budget penalty — even though it was charter schools that had the most serious audit findings.

The audit focused on how schools account for student enrollment and the number of students in specialized programs, such as classes for non-English speakers. Among the 15 district schools that were audited, there were some errors identified, but only enough to merit a roughly $200,000 state fine. For the five charter schools that were looked at, auditors found enough violations to merit a total fine of $1.5 million.

But there’s a catch when it comes to the charters’ fine: because charters have smaller budgets compared to the school district, the charters involved are probably unable to pay the state penalty in one lump sum. So Broward expects it will have to pay its own $200,000 fine, plus the money the charters owe.

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