Posted on June 20, 2022

IG Finds Taxpayers Paid Nearly $24 Million to Educate Hundreds of No-Show Students

Chris Papst, WBFF, April 22, 2022

A bombshell report confirms millions of tax dollars are being misallocated statewide to educate students who aren’t even in school.

An audit by the Inspector General for Education found many Maryland schools have been miscalculating attendance and enrollment, costing taxpayers at least $23 million.

This audit follows a FOX45 investigation into so-called ghost students. Ghost students are kept on the rolls to increase the amount of funding a school receives. According to this new IG report, it’s an issue that’s been costing taxpayers millions across the state for years.

“Taxpayers in Maryland were cheated, and the fraud needs to stop,” said Sean Kennedy with The Maryland Public Policy Institute.


The IG’s audit, released on April 20, looked at enrollment counts over the last five years and found 928 instances of students in Baltimore City who did not meet attendance or enrollment requirements under Maryland law. The audit found 532 City students who didn’t have any recorded attendance during the year.

Those students should not have been eligible for funding, but City Schools received nearly $10 million in taxpayer dollars to educate those students, who were not there.

In the same five-year period, the IG found nearly 3,000 instances of students statewide who should not have received funding. That includes 995 students who had no documented attendance at any point during the year. That adds up to nearly $24 million in misallocated tax dollars.


“The inspector general found out this is the tip of the iceberg,” Kennedy told Project Baltimore.

The report says there are “more discrepancies” statewide concerning students who are funded and should not be. This means the problem is bigger than nearly $24 million over five years but there is no word on how much bigger. {snip}