Eight months after announcing his intention to audit charter schools, city Comptroller Scott Stringer on Thursday named the schools he’ll be scrutinizing — and they include the expanding Success Academy network.
“My office is going to make sure that taxpayer dollars are being used appropriately and that proper controls are in place to ensure that all young New Yorkers are getting the quality education they deserve,” said Stringer.
Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz said she was “confident” her schools would pass muster but thought Stringer was wasting his time.
“We believe his energies would be better spent investigating the use of funds in the failing schools in which 143,000 New York City children are trapped,” she said.
Other charter leaders questioned Stringer’s authority over the privately operated public schools.
“Those matters are overseen by our state’s charter authorizers, which are recognized as among the nation’s best,” said New York City Charter Center CEO James Merriman.
Stringer will also examine the finances of Merrick Academy in Queens, Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and South Bronx Charter for International Cultures and the Arts.
Not a surprise from Merriman - these charter school crooks like "accountability" only when it's aimed elsewhere.
The NY Times reports charter school entrepreneurs are pushing back on the comptroller to try and limit the audits:
The chief executive of the New York City Charter School Center, an advocacy organization, quickly sent out a statement that Mr. Stringer was overstepping his authority, which the executive said was limited to auditing the finances of charter schools, not their overall operations.The comptroller’s office “does not have auditing power over charter school operations,” the executive, James D. Merriman, said. “Those matters are overseen by our state’s charter authorizers.”The disagreement appeared to stem from a difference of opinion about where Mr. Stringer derived his authority to audit charter schools.A spokesman for Mr. Stringer, Eric Sumberg, said it came from the City Charter, which gives the comptroller broad auditing powers.But Mr. Merriman pointed to state law, which, in a change made by the State Legislature this year, gives the comptroller the power to audit a charter school “with respect to the school’s financial operations.” Mr. Merriman said that state law superseded city law, and that the state law clearly limited Mr. Stringer’s authority.Mr. Sumberg dismissed the issue, saying, “Whether it’s state law or the City Charter, it is clear that the comptroller has the authority to audit charter schools, plain and simple.”
Will Merriman or some other charter backers take Stronger to court to try and tie the audits up?
Will they go to the pro-charter Cuomo and get him to limit the power of the city comptroller to audit charter schools in NYC?
Cuomo has already limited the power of the mayor over co-locations.
I could absolutely see him siding with his charter school donors and putting the shiv into Stringer's audits.
In any case, this is just another example of the charter school entrepreneurs loving "accountability" when it is aimed elsewhere but skirting it when it is aimed their way.