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Vt. auditor’s report takes aim at ed agency’s oversight of independent schools

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:02 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A new report from Vermont’s auditor shows inconsistencies in the state’s process of approving independent schools.

The report estimates that about $100 million goes to more than 65 approved independent schools, which at times act as public schools in rural communities. Normally, independent schools are approved by the State Board of Education, but some are also accredited by an independent regional board.

Vermont Auditor Doug Hoffer says the Agency of Education, in some cases, omitted information to the Board of Education, saying it was considered confidential from the accrediting agency. “We kind of pressed them on that and said, ‘Why not?’ How can the board make an informed decision if the board doesn’t know what you know? They have subsequently acknowledged that what they did was the wrong thing and going forward I believe they will change that policy,” Hoffer said.

He also says the ed agency was not running full background checks on some staff at independent schools. The Agency of Education says because of the auditor’s report, they will review and make changes to how they operate.

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