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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

New Roots Charter School – Enrollment Billing and Purchasing (2012M-83)


Released: August 3, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the student enrollment and billing processes and the School's purchasing practices for the period July 1, 2010, to January 25, 2012.

Background

A charter school is a public school financed by local, State and Federal resources that is not under the control of the local school board and is governed under Education Law Article 56. The Board of Trustees provides oversight for New Roots Charter School operations, which is located in the City of Ithaca in Tompkins County. The Board comprises 12 members, including four non-voting representatives: a parent, a student, a faculty member, and the School Principal. The School's 2010-11 fiscal year operating expenses totaled approximately $1.76 million.

Key Findings

  • We reviewed two School billings and found that the Manager had billed all 17 feeder districts for the proper number of enrolled students. Although we found that some districts (six in one billing and seven in the other) were not billed at the correct tuition rates, the amounts by which these districts were under-billed or over-billed were minor.
  • We identified six contracts and three purchases totaling approximately $917,900 that required Board approval. However, no documentation exists to show the Board approved six of these nine transactions, totaling approximately $172,000.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure the billings to the feeder districts are reviewed for accuracy.
  • Approve all contracts and purchases in accordance with Board policy. Ensure that staff follows the Board's purchasing policy by obtaining required quotes and maintaining documentation to support the quoted price.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236