State Auditor General Releases Performance Audit on Charter Schools Office

Posted on May 7, 2024
Categories: News, Press Releases

In July 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General commenced a performance audit of The School District of Philadelphia’s Charter Schools Office (“CSO”) to determine whether the School District’s authorizing practices are compliant with applicable laws and guidance. Today, this independent audit has been made public and is accessible in its entirety here.

With regards to the CSO’s primary work of reviewing new charter applications, monitoring existing charter schools, and conducting renewal reviews, the audit report finds that “the CSO complied with laws, guidance, and policies”. The review also confirmed that the CSO consistently utilized the Charter School Performance Framework in conducting its evaluations. The audit provides recommendations for improvements that can be made to the review process. Additionally, the audit finds that the CSO addressed all three applicable findings highlighted in a previous audit report released by the Auditor General in 2016.

The Board of Education and CSO remain committed to authorizing practices that are driven by a student-centered approach in accordance with applicable laws and practices. We strive to continue our efforts to build trust with our stakeholders, improve communications, and remain committed to fair and transparent processes. The Board of Education and the CSO have been forthcoming and receptive to feedback and input on improving our charter authorizing practices in the best interest of our students.

“The CSO understands the importance of being held accountable for establishing authorizing practices that are both compliant with applicable laws and implemented consistently. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in another comprehensive review of our practices and are pleased the Auditor General found that our office complied with all applicable legal requirements and that we adhered to the standards within the Charter School Performance Framework. We look forward to engaging with the recommendations, not just internally, but also with our broader stakeholders across the city to determine the best path forward for our students and the sector,” said Chief of Charter Schools Peng Chao.

The Board of Education acknowledges the diligent efforts of the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General in conducting this audit independently and comprehensively. Such performance assessments ensure that the Board of Education consistently prioritizes the interests of students and families, enabling every young person to imagine and realize any future they desire.