INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The leaders of two now-closed Indiana online charter schools are accused in a new trial defraud the state of more than $ 150 million by increasing student enrollments and inappropriately paying money to a network of related businesses.
The trial announced Monday by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office comes nearly two years after the shutdown of Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy amid a state investigation that found they said incorrectly that about 14,000 students were enrolled even though they had no online course activity.
An audit linked much of the abusive spending to Thomas Stoughton, who ran the schools until 2017.
An attorney for Stoughton declined to comment.
“While we are encouraged by the efforts to hold the parties accountable for the alleged irregularities in the operation of the Indiana Virtual School (IVS) and the Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy (IVPA), we were disappointed to learn of the Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s decision to include current Deputy Superintendent of Daleville Community Schools, David Stashevsky, as a defendant in the civil action brought to recover allegedly ill-earned public funds.
“The claims alleged against Mr. Stashevsky in this civil lawsuit concern his very brief employment with IVS during the school year 2011-2012, the very first year of operation of this virtual school, and more particularly the ADM report of September 2011 for IVS. None of the allegations against Mr. Stashevsky relate to his employment at DCS or DCS’s role as the authorizer of the IVS or the IVPA. As noted on page 19 of DCS’s official response to the SBOA Special Compliance Report on Daleville Community Schools, DCS questions the accuracy of the SBOA’s findings regarding IVS’s September 2011 ADM report. and, therefore, the allegations against Mr. Stashevsky.
“David has always been and remains a trusted and highly respected school administrator who has served our school community with distinction. It should be noted that Mr. Stashevsky played a key role in bringing the IVS / IVPA registration irregularities to the attention of the SBOA in the first place. In August 2018, IVS / IVPA student data first became available for the Indiana Department of Education DCS. Almost immediately, Stashevsky set about the task of eagerly downloading and analyzing all available data. It took nearly five (5) months of reviewing over 250,000 data cells that followed over 15,000 students over five (5) years of enrollment at Mr. Stashevsky to complete the review and the substantial analysis of DCS. After about a month in this process, when Mr. Stashevsky noted irregularities that looked suspicious, DCS approached SBOA about their concerns. It was Mr. Stashevsky, on behalf of DCS, who discovered irregularities in the registration and completion data for IVS / IVPA courses and promptly informed the SBOA of their concerns. Without him, the SBOA and, in turn, the Attorney General would have no knowledge of the facts alleged in the pending civil action.
“We look forward to allowing the legal process to unfold. “
Daleville community schools