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Education

Lawmakers and State Auditor at odds over Odyssey Charter School audit

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Delaware Public Media
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The State Auditor said she’s prevented from auditing a charter school by a law sponsored by the lawmaker urging her to do the audit.

The Public Integrity Commission issued an opinion in April saying Odyssey Charter School board members violated state codes of conduct multiple times.

In one portion of its opinion, the commission decided the majority of the board members’ allegiance to the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) influenced their decision to direct about $100,000 of school funds to building the group’s preschool center.

State Auditor Kathy McGuiness said the circumstances for an audit doesn’t meet the criteria in the 2016 law State Rep. Kim Williams and State Sen. Dave Sokola worked to pass.

“Here we are after 30 years," she said. "It’s a new administration with a new vision and you know I am doing what I can do and this whole decision was based on Delaware code.”

But Williams said the law allows her to do an audit.

“Because evidence was brought forward showing that there are concerns, one would think that the auditor would investigate these concerns since it is taxpayer dollars,” she said.

McGuiness said she’s willing to do the audit if the Department of Education will pay for it. But Education Secretary Susan Bunting told McGuiness last month she can’t agree to pay for audit without knowing the cost upfront.

DOE has placed Odyssey under formal review because of the issues raised and what it deems the school board’s inadequate response to the recommendations to address them.

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