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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Steps Taken to Improve Charter School Financial Management and Performance Accountability; Additional Action Needed, Report No. 08-04, January 2008
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  • Since our 2005 reports, the Legislature has taken action to improve the financial condition of the state’s charter schools.  The 2006 Legislature amended Florida law to clarify the Department of Education’s role in providing technical support to school districts and charter school operators.  This legislation also included charter schools as entities subject to provisions governing financial emergencies, and required charter school auditors to notify each member of the school’s governing body when certain deteriorating financial conditions exist. 
  • In addition, the Department of Education has implemented several of our recommendations to improve charter schools operations.  For instance, the department has provided training and technical assistance to new charter school operators to help them in areas such as planning, budgeting, managing, and financial reporting. 
  • However, additional steps would further improve charter school financial management and performance.  These include strengthening reporting and technical assistance requirements for charter schools experiencing financial emergencies, developing financial monitoring system to identify and assist financially struggling charter schools earlier, and requiring that charter school applicants receive training and technical assistance during the application process.
  • The Legislature may also wish to consider clarifying conflict of interest prohibitions for charter schools. 

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 05-21 OPPAGA Report: Charter School Performance Comparable to Other Public Schools; Stronger Accountability Needed, published in April 2005.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Charter Schools
Public Schools (K-12 Education)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 10-56 Many Florida Programs Enhance Students’ Career and College Readiness, published in November 2010.
  • Report No. 05-11 OPPAGA Report: Charter School Application Requirements Are Reasonable; Financial Management Problematic, published in March 2005.
  • Report No. 04-41 Progress Report: K-12 Accountability System and Student Achievement Improved, But Challenges Remain, published in June 2004.
  • Report No. 02-22 Progress Report: Charter School Management Strengthened, But Improved Academic Accountability Needed, published in March 2002.
  • Report No. 01-22 Justification Review: Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade Public Education Program, published in April 2001.
  • Report No. 99-48 Program Review: Charter Schools Need Improved Academic Accountability and Financial Management, published in April 2000.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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