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Auditor's report finds financial missteps at two charters

Delaware Public Media

A new inspection report from the state Auditor’s office found two charters -Kuumba Academy and Delaware College Preparatory Academy -  to have questionable purchase and reimbursement practices.


The report says the Board President and Executive Director at the Delaware College Preparatory Academy (DCPA) “had unusual direct reimbursement activity,” according to the report.  


The report found the DCPA Board President was reimbursed over $11,000 for allowing the school to use her personal credit card, but only offered a self-written letter as proof.   And the auditor’s office flagged nearly $12,000 of the $18,000 reimbursed to the school’s executive director for lacking proper documentation.


"We found the documentation for those reimbursements, to be quite frank, questionable," said state Auditor Thomas Wagner.


At Kuumba Academy, the reports claims some employees were essentially paid twice, once as a salary, and again via contract for services listed in their job descriptions. And services paid under contact were not put out for bid as required by state law.


"I think where there becomes a little bit of confusion sometimes is where the charter schools think they have complete and total freedom. When in fact they still have to follow the state’s budget and accounting manual," said Wagner.  


He adds both schools need to correct their practices going forward.


Wagner says that two other charter schools inspected  “got it right,” by establishing consistent internal controls. Those schools were MOT Charter and Thomas A. Edison.

The four schools inspected were chosen due to a high rate of either reimbursements or purchase card usage.


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