New Mexico’s state auditor found 200 serious audit findings for New Mexico charter schools. This is not good; the State has only 59 charters. The head of the Public Education Department, Hannah Skandera, was the deputy commissioner of education in Florida under Jeb Bush.
The State has decent charter management regulation but the lack of oversight permits fraud and mismanagement.
- Fifteen charters lacked records of licensure records or background checks for charter school personnel.
- Ten percent of the charters have the lowest audit finding possible meaning that their financial records cannot be relied upon.
- Capital outlay expenditures were understated by $21 million.
- Funds intended for teacher and leader programs and training went unspent.
- Matching funds for a federal Vocational Rehabilitation grant were not provided resulting in a loss of $2.7 million in federal money.
The Public Education Department deputy secretary argued that the auditor was making a political fight according to a quote in the Albuquerque Journal. He said that the auditor was not realistic about the situation with charter schools. After all, charters have fewer bad audit findings than they used to have.