Attendance probe of Columbus schools intensifies - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Attendance probe of Columbus schools intensifies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A central Ohio school district that's been at the center of a statewide attendance-tampering probe says federal authorities have gotten involved.

The Columbus City Schools confirmed Tuesday that federal entities are investigating the district and it intends to fully cooperate. Ohio Auditor Dave Yost is also reviewing the district.

Authorities are trying to determine whether employees improperly manipulated enrollment and attendance records of poor-performing students to improve performance rankings.

Yost's top lawyer sent a letter to the district Thursday indicating Columbus will be separated from other schools being investigated as part of a statewide review. William Owen attributed the decision to "the strong likelihood" that individuals in the Columbus case would be referred for criminal prosecution.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Tuesday he had not seen any referrals.

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