Arizona school officials seek return of more than $5M from ASU Prep

Apr 26, 2019, 4:48 AM

(Facebook Photo/ASU Preparatory Academy)...

(Facebook Photo/ASU Preparatory Academy)

(Facebook Photo/ASU Preparatory Academy)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Education and the charter school run by Arizona State University are battling over $5.3 million in funding the state wants ASU Prep to return.

“What ended up happening was ASU Prep received funds that they were never statutorily allowed to receive,” Stefan Swiat, department spokesman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Swiat said ASU Preparatory Academy has been getting state funding intended for public charter schools with enrollment under 600.

ASU Prep is a network of K-12 schools with enrollment exceeding 2,000 at campuses in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Casa Grande.

The error – Swiat called it “a misinterpretation of statue” – was discovered in November 2018.

That was around the time of the election in which voters chose Democrat Kathy Hoffman to replace Diane Douglas, who lost in the Republican primary, as superintendent of public instruction.

“The new administration inherited this issue and conferred with their counsel and saw that they have to enact the law, which is that ASU wasn’t meant by law to receive these funds,” Swiat said.

After being notified about situation, ASU Prep filed an appeal, something Swiat said the state encouraged.

In a statement emailed to KTAR News on Thursday, ASU Prep CEO Beatriz Rendón said she hopes the matter can be resolved quickly.

“Since the Arizona Department of Education has long authorized small-school weight funding for the ASU Preparatory Academy, the school has budgeted accordingly,” she said.

“At this time, ASU Prep is focused on minimizing any impact on students, teachers and staff and working with ADE to quickly resolve this issue in order to maintain the highest quality learning environment possible for ASU Prep students and families.”

Swiat said the state would like to reach a settlement with ASU Prep.

“This is not the end for ASU,” Swiat said. “They were just merely being reminded that this law is on the books and ADE has to enforce it.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

One teenage woman died after a shooting at an apartment complex in South Phoenix Wednesday night, a...

16-year-old girl dead after allegedly trying to rob couple in south Phoenix

A teenage girl died after allegedly trying to rob a couple at gunpoint at an apartment complex in south Phoenix Wednesday night.

4 hours ago

An alleged fugitive was killed by U.S. Marshals on Thursday, authorities confirmed. (ABC15 helicopt...

Alleged fugitive dead after shooting involving US Marshals in Tempe

An alleged fugitive was shot and killed in Tempe by the U.S. Marshals East Valley Task Force, authorities confirmed Thursday.

4 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Tempe Marketplace)...

Tempe Marketplace announces 4 new tenants, including Sam’s Club

Tempe Marketplace announced it is adding four new tenants, including Sam's Club, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Happy Beauty, and Enclave Salon Suites.

5 hours ago

Arizona Indian water settlement agreement...

Serena O'Sullivan

Leaders of 3 Arizona tribes sign water rights settlement agreement

The Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Settlement Agreement was signed on Wednesday, according to the Hopi Tribe.

9 hours ago

Eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 closed in Phoenix due to vehicle fire...

Eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 partially reopen in Phoenix after fire

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 partially reopened in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

11 hours ago

Jeff Flake, seen in a Senate hallway in a 2020 file photo, reportedly is stepping down from his rol...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Republican Jeff Flake reportedly stepping down as US ambassador to Turkey

Jeff Flake, a former U.S. senator from Arizona, reportedly is stepping down from his role as ambassador to Turkey after three years.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Arizona school officials seek return of more than $5M from ASU Prep