According to documents obtained from the Auditor of State’s office, Ohio’s charter schools currently owe a total of $2,044,392 in unpaid auditor fees. Over $1.7 million of these fees are at least 120 days late.

A quick review of some of the top offenders reveals some not-so-surprising results to anyone familiar with Ohio’s disastrous charter school system.

A 2011 audit of The Legacy Academy for Leaders and the Arts (#2 in our list) resulted in unpaid fees totaling $148,029.32. The audit revealed a long list of violations including $483,923 in checks written by the school treasurer, Carl Shye, to HIMSELF. Results of this audit were sent to the Mahoning County prosecutor.

It turns out Shye’s charter school shenanigans are not new. An audit back in 2009 of the Nu Bethel Center of Excellence (#7, outstanding audit fees: $68,492) revealed that the school “illegally spent nearly $28,000 in fiscal 2006 and 2007, withheld taxes from employees but didn’t pay the government and failed to properly document thousands of dollars in expenditures.” Shye was the treasure and one of the school’s founders.

The Harte Crossroads Academy (#8 with $64,352 in fees) and Harte Crossroads High school (#9, $66,372) owed the state over $3 million when they closed, leaving employees unpaid, owing cash to hundreds of creditors and throwing students out into the streets.

The Weems school (#10, $62,043 in unpaid fees). The Marcus Garvey Academy (#11, $53,535 in unpaid fees). The list goes on – and we’ve only addressed the top 11 so far.

I’m tempted to go off on a long rant about the massive failures of Ohio’s charter school system, but you’ve read it all here before.

So instead I’ll leave you with the list of delinquent charter schools, their total unpaid audit fees and a simple question: why are we still giving millions of dollars to charter schools that fail our kids and steal our money?

Charter School County Unpaid Fees
Cincinnati College Prep Hamilton $219,718
Legacy Academy for Leaders and the Arts Mahoning $148,029
Harmony Community School Hamilton $141,410
W.e.b. Dubois Academy Hamilton $100,512
NIA University Community School Hamilton $92,414
Montessori Renaissance Experience Franklin $88,317
Nu Bethel Center of Excellence Montgomery $68,492
Harte Crossroads High School Franklin $66,372
The Harte Crossroads Academy Franklin $64,352
Weems School Cuyahoga $62,043
Marcus Garvey Academy Cuyahoga $53,535
Richard Allen Academy Ii Montgomery $53,173
Eagle Heights Academy Mahoning $52,923
The Richard Allen Academy Montgomery $48,652
Richard Allen Preparatory Academy Montgomery $48,386
Richard Allen Iii Montgomery $46,728
Phoenix Village Academy – Primary 1 SUMMIT $46,567
East End Heritage Community School Hamilton $45,943
Cincinnati Academy of Excellence Hamilton $43,515
New Choices Community School Montgomery $42,748
Urban Youth Academy Clark $41,963
Main Street Automotive Magnet School Montgomery $41,952
Chase Academy For Communication Arts Lorain $37,295
Performing Arts School Of Metropolitan Toledo Franklin $28,020
George Washington Carver Preparatory Academy Franklin $27,827
International College Preparatory Hamilton $27,471
Greater Achievement Community School Cuyahoga $24,164
Pace High School Hamilton $22,706
Elite Academy of the Arts Cuyahoga $21,452
Hamilton County Mathematics and Science Academy Hamilton $20,234
Arts Academy West Cuyahoga $17,488
FCI Academy Franklin $16,535
Lion of Judah Academy Cuyahoga $16,263
The Arts Academy Lorain $16,113
Villaview Lighthouse Community School Cuyahoga $15,153
Cleveland Lighthouse Community School Cuyahoga $15,112
Carter G. Woodson Academy Montgomery $13,459
Preparing Academic Leaders Academy Franklin $13,404
Phoenix Village Academy – Secondary 1 Cuyahoga $11,807
Premier Academy Franklin $11,710
Hope Academy High School -Cleveland Campus Summit $8,467
Lakeside College Preparatory Academy Cuyahoga $8,239
Lighthouse Educational Development Corporation Summit $7,809
Veritas Cesar Chavez Academy Hamilton $7,622
Greater Heights Academy Cuyahoga $6,769
New City Community School Montgomery $5,199
Columbus Preparatory Academy Franklin $5,037
Value Learning and Teaching Academy Hamilton $4,052
Midnimo Cross Cultural Middle School Franklin $3,881
Educational Academy for Boys and Girls Franklin $3,741
Colin Powell Leadership Academy Montgomery $3,630
Ida B. Wells Community Academy Summit $3,107
Phoenix Village Academy – Primary 2 Cuyahoga $1,403
New Vision Academy Cuyahoga $1,349
Outreach Academy For Students With Disabilities Cuyahoga $130
Evangelize!
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  • Guest

    Thanks for the info. Not surprised. 

    Vote no on Issue 2. 

  • Anonymous

    Why? Because large campaign donors are making money off this scam while they trash our kids’ and our state’s future.  More and more I am coming to believe that charter schools should be eliminated, no exceptions. I used to feel we should just ban for-profit charters while carefully allowing non-profit community schools, but there has been just too much abuse to continue.

    And could you please edit this: “owing cash to hundreds of creditors and throwing students hundreds of streets out into the streets.”

  • Anonymous

    Why? Because large campaign donors are making money off this scam while they trash our kids’ and our state’s future.  More and more I am coming to believe that charter schools should be eliminated, no exceptions. I used to feel we should just ban for-profit charters while carefully allowing non-profit community schools, but there has been just too much abuse to continue.

    And could you please edit this: “owing cash to hundreds of creditors and throwing students hundreds of streets out into the streets.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/ohknighty Adrienne Knight

    Unfortunately, I think we are stuck with them. I sure don’t want my taxes to pay for them…..profit before people that is what the rotten R’s and their real bosses (the rotten rich)  stand for. 

  • Anonymous

    No matter what one thinks about charter schools, those listed here should first be forced to comply with the results of the audits. Then they should either pay the audit fees or be shut down till they do. If the owners of these schools don’t comply or don’t pay, they should be banned from owning another for-profit school in Ohio.

  • Anonymous

    It seems like there is nothing charter schools can do to be banned. At least the legislature did shed a provision that would have prevented the state from putting charters on probation for financial irregularities, academic failure or — my favorite — breaking the law! I’m sure David Brennan wrote that one, as he wrote most of the charter school regulation language. Talk about foxes guarding the henhouse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    Let’s see 360 students times $7000 tuition equals $2,520,000 to run a school owned and operated by teachers for students. Sounds better every day.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t Mary Taylor the last State Auditor?  She must have done a terrific job if these unpaid fees just kept piling up.  In an article published in the Dayton Daily News (http://tinyurl.com/443aktl) on March 31, 2011, CEO of the Richard Allen charter school, Jeanette Harris, was in trouble for misusing money for travel and charging students to attend Saturday detention.  While Brennan and his ilk get rich on our tax money, students who attend charter schools are getting cheated out of an education. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CW2J65B3NDO5CJIMRP4FYJMPSU Adrienne

    R’s and their friends can’t do math. The auditor is an R again so the robbery will continue.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CW2J65B3NDO5CJIMRP4FYJMPSU Adrienne

    R’s and their friends can’t do math. The auditor is an R again so the robbery will continue.

  • UPBW

    There’s another side to the charter school story and sadly, it’s not all the charter schools’ fault. I used to work for a charter school and they get a lot of bad press by the same people who don’t want any kids to be educated. Dig a little deeper Plunderbund. You’ll find the same people who trash public schools are the same ones who are also against charter schools. All roads lead to the same rich white people.

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