State Auditor Blaha releases Hmong College Prep Academy Investigative Report - October 18, 2021
Saint Paul, MN – “Hmong College Prep Academy failed to comply with Minnesota law regarding school investments. As a result, they could not account for the whereabouts of $4.3 million in public funds,” said State Auditor Julie Blaha after releasing the Hmong College Prep Academy (HCPA) Investigative Report. “Because education is vital to the success of our kids and communities, schools can’t afford to take big risks with the resources that fund them.”
The investigation began after the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) received concerns about a 2019 investment of $5,000,000 by HCPA. The OSA report found that the school’s investment was not allowed under Minnesota law.
“It’s important to note that not only did the charter school fail to follow Minnesota law, it did not follow its own investment policies,” continued Blaha. “This situation demonstrates why the law does not allow risky investments by public schools.”
The OSA also found that HCPA authorizer Bethel University’s corrective action plan and recommendations to the charter school appear reasonable and appropriate in light of the charter school’s action. Blaha added, “We believe HCPA authorizer Bethel University’s recommended controls in its action plan is a step in the right direction.”
The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) received concerns about a 2019 investment of $5,000,000 by Hmong College Prep Academy (Charter School).
The OSA obtained from the Charter School certain documents relevant to the investment. Based on a review of the documents provided by the Charter School, the OSA concludes that:
- the Charter School’s $5,000,000 investment did not comply with Minnesota law regarding permissible investments of public funds,
- the Charter School failed to recover $4,315,238 of these public funds during the review period (September of 2019 through April of 2021), and
- the investment appears to be inconsistent with the Charter School’s investment policy.
Additionally, the OSA notes that the recent recommendations and Corrective Action Plan of Bethel University as the Charter School’s authorizer appear reasonable and appropriate in light of the Charter School’s actions with respect to the Woodstock investment.
Because the Woodstock investment did not comply with Minnesota law regarding permissible investments of public funds, this Investigative Report has been filed with the Ramsey County Attorney pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 6.51.
The complete investigative report is available on the OSA website.