Letter to Auditor General Timothy DeFoor

On January 25th, 2024, we filed a Right-to-Know request with Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) seeking information about fleet vehicles, marketing staff, Family Fun Fests, food trucks, theme parties, and employee engagement activities that were specifically referenced in a CCA job advertisement.

CCA denied these Right-to-Know requests stating that the organization had no records responsive to the request.

CCA’s claim that they have no records that show how they have spent tax dollars on fleet vehicles, marketing employees, and parties raises huge red flags about how CCA is both spending and documenting the tax dollars it spends.

We  reached out to Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, requesting that he open an audit into the school.

Read our letter to Auditor General DeFoor HERE.

Commonwealth Charter Academy is Pennsylvania’s largest cyber charter school, which, according to its 990 form from 2022received $397 million in revenue, reported $279 million in expenses, and posted more than $559 million in total assets in that year.

It has been more than a decade since CCA has been audited by the Auditor General’s office.

With no state oversight of this organization’s spending for so many years, the opportunities for waste, fraud, and abuse are staggering.  

Pennsylvanians rely on the Auditor General’s office to fight against waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer funding and to ensure that precious school tax dollars are being invested wisely into educating our public school students.

We most strongly urge Auditor General DeFoor to immediately open an audit of CCA to help ensure transparency and accountability for how this organization is spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year, and specifically to investigate the issues raised in this letter.

We will share any response that we receve from the Auditor General’s office.

Also, we are in the process of compiling information from Right-to-Know requests focused on cyber charter school advertising and gift card expenditures.

We will have *a lot* of wasteful spending by cyber charters to share in the upcoming weeks as we make the case for lawmakers to support Governor Shapiro’s $8000/student standard cyber charter tuition rate for regular education students. It is long past time for lawmakers in Harrisburg to reform funding for cyber charters to rein in gross overpayments to cyber charters and stem  the wasteful spending of our property tax dollars by these organizations.

Thank you for your continued support of public education.

Best,

Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA

PS: In 2022 we met with Auditor General Timothy DeFoor to express grave concerns about how Commonwealth Charter Academy, Pennsylvania’s largest cyber charter school, was spending tax dollars.  We requested that Auditor General DeFoor open an audit of the school.

On June 1, 2022, we received this letter from the Auditor General’s office stating that they would not be opening an audit.