Audit Of Columbus City Schools Finds Inadequate Curriculum And Unequal Funding

May 7, 2020

An independent audit of the Columbus City Schools curriculum is critical of the district’s academic programs and expenditures.

The 450-page independent audit by Phi Delta Kappa International of Virginia looked at the district’s core courses.

It found that teachers used outside resources to instruct students because the district lacked written curriculum documents for grades K-12, which auditors said led to inconsistencies in classwork.

A survey of 49 schools found that only 47% of them had enough computers for their students.

In a classroom visit, auditors found that only 19% of teachers actively used technology, while 22% of students did.

The report also questioned the distribution of funding, as some schools with a larger number of financially disadvantaged students received less money than others.

Talisa Dixon, superintendent of Columbus City Schools, had requested the audit. Last fall, board members approved spending nearly $216,000 of federal grants on the report.

In a statement on the Columbus Board of Education website, Dixon says work has begun on new curriculum for English, language, arts and math, and the district is assembling a Virtual Learning Task Force for online learning.

"We know there is great work happening in a number of areas, and the audit confirms that. But we also know there are areas for growth and improvement, and we are committed to using these findings and recommendations to inform the work that is needed to make these improvements," Dixon wrote.

The board plans to discuss the audit recommendations on May 14.