In a stunning decision, a judge in Manhattan ruled that the State Comptroller may not audit Eva Moskowitz’s charter schools or any other charter schools because they are “not units of the state.” In other words, they are not public schools. If they were public schools, they would be “units of the state” and could be audited by the State Comptroller. As private contractors, they audit themselves.

Charter schools have claimed in federal courts that they are not public schools and may not be held to the same laws governing public schools. In every case, the courts and the National Labor Relations Board have agreed with the charter operators that charter schools are private corporations with a contract receiving public funds from the government. When charter founders in Los Angeles were convicted of misappropriating public funds, the California Charter Schools Association defended them by arguing that charter schools are not public schools but private corporations. In other words, in their words, they are private schools, not public schools, so they are not subject to public audit.