An investigation by the Indiana State Board of Accounts into alleged fraud by two shuttered virtual charter schools found weaknesses in state code that make it difficult to ensure accurate student enrollment counts.
Earlier this year, the state accused leaders at Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy of fraudulently collecting nearly $70 million in tax dollars by inflating student enrollment numbers for years. A federal investigation is ongoing.
A review of the two schools found more than 8,500 students were improperly included in enrollment counts during 11 years. Of those students, there were 4,706 instances where students completed no courses.
The State Board of Accounts special compliance report released in August focused on how Indiana’s funding of public schools is calculated based on a school district or charter school enrollment, also referred to as average daily membership (ADM). This student count takes place in the fall and spring