An audit report on the Erie RISE Academy Charter School should be completed by the end of the year. That news comes from the state auditor general, who was in Erie today. Eugene DePasquale was the keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Recorder of Deeds Conference at the Bayfront Convention Center.
DePasquale issued an interim audit on the school in April, saying the the RISE Academy was in disarray. Today, he said the financial books were so bad at the school that he's just hoping he can simply complete the audit.
DePasquale's interim report on the Erie RISE Charter School said the school's academic performance is failing, the trustees have no real oversight on the school's finances, classes were overcrowded, the school had no established rules for discipline, and did not monitor attendance.
Since that report, the Erie School District has taken initial action to not renew the school's charter. The charter school's principal says he is working to correct the deficiencies. DePasquale says he is trying to dig deeper into the school's finances.
"Since then, we've taken some additional steps to try to work with the charter school so we can actually complete the audit so the taxpayers and the community, and the parents, and the children that go there can know exactly how it is from an independent perspective. But until that's completed, we can't go much more into it," said DePasquale.
The Erie School Board will not take a vote on the RISE Academy's charter renewal until that final audit is released. But, the school will stay open because, even if the board votes to not renew the charter, the school can appeal the decision.