NORTHRIDGE, Ohio (WDTN) - Northridge LSD is one of four more districts Ohio's state auditor, Dave Yost, reported Monday removed poor-attendance students from their rolls. Yost also identified Canton, Cincinnati and Winton Woods city schools.
A seven month investigation involving more than 260 auditors and amounting to approximately $443,000 found nine districts now total have scrubbed their attendance numbers. Yost previously said Campbell, Cleveland, Columbus, Marion and Toledo city schools improperly removed students.
Scrubbing is a data withdrawal practice where schools remove certain students from their attendance records to benefit the district. Student counts determine how state dollars are divided up among the districts.
The Auditor's report on Northridge states, "Fifty-nine students within the district, 16 from Ester Dennis Middle School and 43 from Northridge High School, did not have proper documentation available in their student files to to support breaks in enrollment."
AOS received permission from NLSD Superintendent David Jackson to obtain student data from the district's Information Technology Center to further investigate the nature and timing of the exceptions.
The report states the ITC report revealed modifications were made retroactively during the months of June and July 2011 for 33 of the 59 exceptions. Twenty-three of the 59 students were coded as withdrawn to homeschooling; however, the Area Education Service Center which approves all homeschooling for the district reported none of the listed students were on its approval list.
"We are taking this very seriously," said David Jackson, who is the Superintendent of NLSD. "We are cooperating with officials and working to get the matter figured out. Northridge has a reputation of taking care of its kids and we will continue to provide a high quality education to all."
Yost recommended the state peg school funding on year-long attendance figures to encourage attendance through the entire year.
The investigation is on-going.
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