9 Ohio Schools Found To Have Manipulated Attendance Data

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The Ohio State Auditor released the findings of a report into the school attendance tampering scandal.

The Republican official released results of a statewide records review Monday afternoon.

According to the report, nine schools were found to have manipulated attendance data. Only five schools had been reported in the past.

The four additional schools include Cincinnati City, Canton City, Northridge in Montgomery County and Winton Woods in Hamilton County.

The original five schools include Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Marion and Campbell.

“My conclusion is that they knew better and, for whatever their own reasons were, chose not to comply,” Yost said.

Though Yost did not directly discuss the Columbus schools on Monday, he said the Columbus City School District was separate from the investigation because his auditors found "evidence of intent to deceive."

“I’m calling upon the school board to stand up and lead,” Yost said. “The time to act is now, and the children of this district need that leadership.”

Yost's auditors have spread across the state to determine whether Ohio schools have been removing poor-performing students from their rolls in attempts to improve performance ratings that can impact federal funding and employee bonuses.

As part of his recommendations, Yost said the state should do away with "Count Week" in October.

Yost had identified questionable attendance reporting methods in five districts, including Columbus, during the first round of the probe. A second round turned up no new cases.

Yost also said that he believed the nature of the irregularities shows the state department of education provided insufficient oversight.

“What we are suggesting is that the money follow the kids more or less in real time,” Yost said. “So that each day, there is an incentive to keep the child in school.”

Release of Ohio's performance assessments was temporarily delayed last year amid concern that faulty attendance data may have compromised the rankings.

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