The Tennessee education department has been quietly moving to seize financial-management functions of the state’s Achievement School District because of what officials say is “financial mismanagement” at the agency responsible for turning around failing public schools.
The intervention, which began last fall, came to light last week—the result of the public release of a blistering state-comptroller performance audit. The ASD manages or contracts with private charter operators to run 33 schools in Nashville and Memphis.
Among the problems auditors found were reimbursements for excessive travel claims and $2,500 for alcohol at an office celebration, the payment of salaries and benefits to terminated employees, and a lack of a method to verify that employees actually met job requirements.
A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2016 edition of Education Week as District for Failing Schools on Hot Seat in Tennessee