Not guilty! That's essentially the response by the board of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and two affiliated schools to the accusation by the Pennsylvania Auditor General who has assessed that the "leaders involved with all three of these schools had intermingled relationships that put individual self-interest above student needs while controlling hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer education funds from nearly every district in the state".
In particular, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, "One of the central issues at PA Cyber was that its board provided little oversight of business transactions involving Nick Trombetta, the cyber charter's founding CEO; board members; family members; and related entities. Because of the inordinate number of related-party transactions, the board and the administration had an even greater duty to govern all aspects of the cyber charter school's management, but it failed to do so," the 91-page report said."
But the school board takes no responsibility for a number of financial irregularities identified by the Auditor General and simply states: "the school's board had "instituted a robust conflict-of-interest policy. The school also said that it had been reviewing existing contracts with the management company and that any renewals would be "achieved via an open and public process."
And, not to appear totally dismissive, the CEO stated: "While we adamantly disagree with Auditor General DePasquale's two findings regarding Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, we wholeheartedly agree with his desire to make schools more accountable to taxpayers."
It is certainly appropriate that a board should indeed deny false accusations and incorrect findings, but why am I led to believe that the Auditor General may not be off-base with his findings?
Might there not also be a different public response or even no public response in an effort to address what has been identified as areas of concerns? What's your thinking?