Friday, August 17, 2007

Stop the Presses: DCPS may have misused funds

[Link Fixed]

In news that comes to a shock to no one it appears that the District's public school system may have misspent federal grants.
The Examiner reported Friday that the federal government was threatening to bring a fraud suit to recoup millions of dollars that went out under a federal program designed help educate the children of migrant farm workers and fishermen.

The District has received migrant education grants since 1980. A 2005 audit found that there were no such children in the system.

Monday’s admission from the city’s attorney may prove costly. The False Claims Act entitles the victim of fraud to triple the amount lost and provides for up to $11,000 in fines per offense. Each of the thousands of students claimed by D.C. officials for decades could constitute a separate offense.
How did it take 20 years for someone to actually do an audit of this program? When you think farming and fishing communities the District doesn't exactly spring to mind.

There was one good piece of news in the article, however.
One aide to Fenty, who spoke on condition of anonymity because personnel matters are supposed to be private, said that the administration is planning a clean sweep of the bureaucracy but is focused on getting the schools open for fall classes first.
If this is accurate, and by clean sweep they mean a top to bottom razing of the central office, things may just get better at the District's public schools.

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