Published: May 7, 2021
Charter and tribal schools are subject to public audit just as established public schools are. In the 2020-21 school year, more than 5,600 students were served by charter and tribal schools in Washington.
SAO audits the public monies received by each type of school.
Recent audits of tribal schools reflect that the schools keep records to support revenue and expenditures, and that the schools have quickly implemented audit recommendations.
Recent audits of charter schools reflect that school personnel are still learning about Washington’s legal requirements. Based on SAO audits, some key areas of continued focus for the charter schools include:
- documenting and reporting requirements for students;
- keeping straightforward records to show public and private transaction activities are kept separate and supporting documentation is maintained; and
- identifying public assets and tracking them.
Audits have shown that charter schools whose operations are overseen by out-of-state staff have the most challenges meeting compliance requirements and implementing audit recommendations. SAO continues to encourage charter schools to work closely with their authorizer to ensure the schools comply with charter contracts and receive relevant guidance to comply with Washington laws.
Charter schools, at a glance
2020-21 school year: 12 charter schools served 3,641 students.
Tribal schools, at a glance
2020-21 school year: 7 tribal schools served 2,009 students