Superintendent of Instruction for the California schools, Jack O'Connell, started an audit more than a year back into the fiscal concerns of the Alternatives for Youth and Opportunities for Knowing (OYO) schools. The OYO is a chain of independent study charter schools within the California schools system, which are independently run however funded by the state. The OYO California schools serve students who have dropped out of the conventional high schools. They currently have about 15,000 students in 40 store places across the state. These California schools students do most of their work at house, conference with teachers two times a week. According to state records, trainee accomplishment test and high school exit examination ratings are above average, as compared to other alternative high schools within the California schools system. According to a Los Angeles Times short article of August 10th, just 11 percent of OYO trainees finished throughout the 2003-2004 school year. The rest of trainees that left school that year either dropped out, were expelled, or moved to other schools. The California schools' audit was conducted by the Financial Crisis and Management Support Group, who concluded their analysis and provided their findings in a report that was launched in August 2006. The audit mentions accounting defects, overpayments by the state, car donation charities new york disputes of interest, nepotism, extreme compensation, and mixing personal business issues with public schools. The OYO was established and still run by John and Joan Hall, previous teachers from Hollywood High School. They have fully worked together with the California schools' audit, but disagreement many of the findings. Some examples from the audit report are: • Accounting Problems and Overpayments. The Halls count each of their instructors as 1.92 full-time positions. Their representative, Stevan Allen, stated that this is a typical practice for charter schools in the California schools system and is a legitimate approach for compensating school personnel for longer days and year-round schedules. California schools superintendent O'Connell believes teachers must be counted only as one full-time position each. The auditors disagreed, pointing out that conventional California schools teachers spend much less time working each year than those at OYO. However, the auditors thought the 1.92 quantity is inflated. This example, alone, represent majority of the $57 million overpayment. In addition, the report noted numerous doubtful expenses. One example of unrestrained spending, given by the Times was an $18,000 personnel celebration held at Disneyland. Allen safeguarded that event as an attempt at relationship building in between team member, who are spread throughout the state. He noted that the costs was less than $50 per employee. • Disputes of Interest and Mixing Private Service with Public Schools. Besides the charter schools, the Halls own and run numerous private organisations that offer materials and services to schools. The Times noted that the Options in OYO was the nonprofit part of the setup, with the Opportunities part being for-profit. The audit calls this practice and setup into question. • Extreme Payment. The audit also questions the combined salaries for the Halls, which is $600,000 annually. The report mentions that it may be excessive for the amount of time the couple in fact works. • Nepotism. The Halls created a different charity with $10.8 million of the California schools' funding, called Pathways in Education. The charity is run by their daughter, Jamie Hall. Little money has actually been invested toward education so far. The Halls contend that they previously had asked for guidance on their operation from the California schools often times, but never ever got any action. Hence, they attempted to follow California schools requirements as
best they might with their understanding of the policies. Even O'Connell conceded that none of the pointed out practices are prohibited. The audit suggests the California schools need to try to recover the $57 million in overpayment from the OYO. O'Connell has sent out the report to the state's attorney general of the United States's office for evaluation and any required action.