Auditor General DePasquale Recognizes Accomplishments at Freire Charter School in Philadelphia


January 16 2014
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Auditor General DePasquale Recognizes Accomplishments at Freire Charter School in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 16, 2014) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today praised the sound management practices of the Freire Charter School in Philadelphia during a visit to announce results of a performance audit. 

“Freire is an example of a charter school doing things right,” DePasquale said. “Based on the audit criteria by which we review all charter schools, Freire seems to have sound management practices.”

The recently completed audit includes no findings or observations regarding how the school is operating in compliance with the relevant state laws, regulations, contracts, grant requirements, and administrative procedures. According to Pennsylvania Department of Education information, Freire students made adequate yearly progress in reading and math proficiency. 

“In my first year as auditor general we performed more than 300 audits of schools across the state, including charter schools. I have been critical of accountability at some charter schools, particularly regarding lease reimbursements and unjustified expenses,” DePasquale said, noting that he will hold a series of public informational meetings on charter schools in February and March.

“We hope to use these public meetings to identify potential improvements to charter school oversight so we can be sure that Pennsylvanians are getting the best value for our tax dollars and that our children are receiving the best education possible. 

“The positive performance of Freire may be an example of how charter schools can complement traditional public schools to help improve educational opportunities for students,” DePasquale said.

About one-third of Philadelphia district students attend charters. In the 2013-2014 school year, an estimated $700 million of the city’s $2.4 billion operating budget goes to charter schools.

Freire had 499 students in the 2011-12 school year with 42 teachers, five full- and part-time support personnel and seven administrators. The Charter School received approximately $6 million in tuition payments based on the Charter School Law which requires a school district to pay a per-pupil tuition rate for its students attending a charter or cyber charter school.

The Freire Charter School audit report is available online at: www.PaAuditor.gov.

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