Ohio auditor: Closed Columbus charter school owes state $340,000

The Columbus Dispatch | Catherine Candisky

A North Side charter school that shut its doors in 2015, stranding about 300 students, has not repaid the $340,770 it owes the state, according to an audit released Thursday by state Auditor Dave Yost.

The FCI Academy was closed in August 2015, just prior to the start of classes, by its sponsor, the Toledo-based Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West. The shutdown, for mismanagement, came after the school had received its per-pupil aid from the Ohio Department of Education for the 2015-16 school year.

“Poor management ran this charter school aground,” Yost said. “The financial losses to taxpayers are significant, but the biggest victims here are the students and parents who had the rug pulled out from under their feet at the start of the school year.”

Auditors found that as of Feb. 28, 2017, the academy, formerly located at 2177 Mock Road, had a bank balance of $86,110 and outstanding liabilities totaling $632,339, including the amount owed to the state.

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