Sunday, January 23, 2005

Orleans schools may lose unclaimed federal dollars...

We quote the T-P, the subject being the ability of our elected officials and their designees to run our school system. What's your take on this?

"New Orleans public school officials did not claim more than $32 million in approved federal and state grants last fiscal year, and time has run out on making late claims on some of the money, state officials told new School Board members Wednesday.

Board members appeared stunned by the report provided by Marlyn Langley, a state Education Department deputy superintendent. The figure represents about 10 percent of the $319 million available in nonschool-lunch grant money.

Meeting with five of the seven School Board members in an education wing of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, Langley used a chart showing losses, and threatened losses, in grant money from the fiscal year that ended June 30 to illustrate the daunting nature of fiscal problems facing the system.

A team of outside consultants recently examined the internal troubles, and Superintendent Tony Amato has promised a flurry of measures in the next two years to fix them.

"You basically do not have a controlled environment," Langley said. State grants can no longer be claimed, but the district has a shot at still claiming part of the approved federal money, if documentation on spending is assembled, she said. Langley's report did not detail what part of the $32 million still is available. (A later report by T-P indicated that some funds had been requested and not spent, and that others could be applied for late).

Langley also reminded the board that federal officials, following an audit of the past three years, are questioning $71 million in school district spending on Title I programs, which provide services to low-income children. State officials are trying to assemble documents to substitute for records the school district couldn't provide, and the district faces the prospect of having to repay money that can't be accounted for, she said."

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1 Comments:

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10:26 AM  

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