What exactly does a charter school have to do in order to be held accountable? Yesterday:
No investigation over school’s cash withdrawals
Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school’s account and failed to explain what they spent it on will not be investigated, the ministry of education says.
A financial audit of Te Pumanawa o te Wairua, a struggling Northland charter school, found staff made the cash withdrawals from ATM machines and a BP station from January last year.
Analysis raised concerns as to whether some expenses could not considered normal operational expenses, “specifically the ATM, round dollar EFTPOS withdrawals from Takeaways, BP, and purchases from Cafes, Domino’s Pizza, KFC and Burger King”.
KFC and Burger King seem to be a recurring theme with charter schools. Back to the above:
“Based on our finding above we are unable to determine if all the operational funds received by the kura were used for the purposes for which they were granted,” the audit said.
“The school advises us it has since cancelled the debit card, reduced petty cash to $500 and implemented a regular petty cash reconciliation. The staff who were responsible for the debit card use are no longer at the school. We do not intend to take any action in this regard.”
If the school doesn’t have any way of accounting for the transactions, how do they know which staff were involved? Whatever, apparently the solution is to give the school a lot more money:
Questions in the house yesterday (Jan 29) from Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins revealed the school will get close to $1 million to spend for the rest of the year.
It was given an extra $129,000, to allow for implementation of its remedial plan and to fund external expertise, in the wake of Minister Parata’s decision last week. It will also get the help of former Education Secretary Karen Sewell at the taxpayer’s expense – although the ministry is yet to disclose how much she will be paid.
Hey I know – why not fund state schools at the same level as charter schools and see what they can do?
— Tom Haig (@ThomasHaig) July 29, 2015