PITTSBURGH — An audit shows that a charter school here spent $239,036 over four years transporting five special-needs students without proper documentation, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
State auditors reviewed City Charter High School’s finances from July 2010 to June 2015, and found that the school spent $23,504 sending one special-needs student to another facility in a taxi during the 2011-12 school year, and in 2012-13, the school paid a bus company $37,910 to transport four students with special needs to an alternate facility, according to the newspaper. By 2013-14, that cost rose to $92,456 to transport five students; in 2014-15, the bus company was paid $85,166, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
State auditors reviewed the bus company’s invoices and found key information missing to verify the charges: all payments were conducted without approved contracts between the bus company and the school board; the school did not track how daily rates for each student were calculated, mileage costs, or when and where students were transported, the newspaper reports.
Ron Sofo, City High Charter School CEO and principal, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the school has found a new transportation contractor that will save the school $45 per day, and that the contractor will be brought before the school board this month. Sofo added that the school will put the auditor general’s recommendations into place for the upcoming school year, and that no money was misspent or lost.
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