Behind the scenes in Delaware is a woman who had a VERY busy 2015. Kathleen Davies is the Chief Administrative Officer at Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office. She is the name on all the inspection reports for Delaware charter schools. Academy of Dover. Delaware College Prep. Kuumba Academy. And yesterday’s Delaware Department of Education inspection (of which they were cleared). She even has a pending audit investigation with Family Foundations Academy.
These actions did not go unnoticed by one Delaware State Representative. Kim Williams introduced House Bill 186 (after going through a few revisions) to mandate charters go through the State Auditor’s office when contracting for auditors. It became one of the lightning rod bills of the season, which prompted Davies to testify to support the bill. She told the Delaware House Education Committee the situation with the charters was worse than they could imagine.
During this time, the Academy of Dover audit inspection was finishing up. When the report was released, all the Delaware major media picked up on it. Former Principal Noel Rodriguez had used well over $160,000 in school funds for personal purchases, along with numerous other egregious activities. In October, Davies released a report on four charters. Two were cleared of any wrongdoing, but Delaware College Prep and Kuumba Academy had some nasty findings. And apparently, while that was finishing up, her office was working on the report on the DOE!
With Delaware Met’s pending charter revocation, will the auditor’s office step in? While their closure has more to do with academic and organizational reasons the financial picture is not pretty at this point. And that whole real estate deal is begging for an investigation. I hope though, for Davies sake, her charter school audits decrease in 2016!