Investigation Reveals 9 Ohio School Districts Tampered with Attendance Records

An investigation involving more than 260 auditors and lasting seven months has found that a total of nine Ohio school districts "scrubbed' their attendance numbers.

Ohio's state auditor Dave Yost had already identified Campbell, Cleveland, Columbus, Marion and Toledo as regions that removed poor-performing students from their attendance records. Four additional districts have been identified as purposefully altering their records. These districts include Canton, Cincinnati, Northridge Local Schools, and Winton Woods City Schools.

Yost said that the reason behind the tampering with attendance records could stem from the way that the Ohio Department of Education tracks attendance. The ODE only counts students during one week in October, instead of during the entire school year. Yost commented:

"Kids might not show up in September, might vanish in November and might be gone for months, but as long as they are there in that week in October, ODE sends the full year worth of funding to that local school district."

An additional 708 districts were found to have attendance reporting errors, but it is not believed that these were purposeful or malicious.

The entire investigation cost the tate $443,000.