Audit Reveals Utah State Board Of Education Mismanaged More Than $1 Million Of Taxpayer Money

News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) – An audit released Monday reveals that the Utah State Board of Education mismanaged over a million dollars in grant money for Dual Language Immersion programs over the past four years.

Dual Language Immersion programs started in 2009 and are funded by federal and state grants. Deputy Superintendent of Operations Scott Jones says the State Board of Education noticed some financial red flags last fall and decided it was time to get their house in order.

“It was at our request of the office of the State Auditor to do the audit,” Jones told ABC4 Utah News.

Among the Auditor’s findings: the State Board of Education mismanaged Federal funds, failed to monitor program activities and paid staff improperly with federal funds, in one case paying a Program Director $18,000 without documentation of work performed.

“This is not a reflection of the program itself,” Jones said. “It’s an awesome program. It’s really making a huge difference and it’s not a reflection of the teachers or anything like that and I don’t anticipate any changes to that.”

The audit found that at least part of that grant money was improperly spent on things like parking tickets, skiing and booze.

Between 2013 and 2017, $32,515 went to “alcohol, parking fines, lift tickets, office decorations, and other unnecessary expenditures” as well as materials for languages other than the ones being taught.  In that four year period, the unallowable federal grant expenditures were nearly $365,000.

“It’s an unfortunate event but we’re confident in going forward we’ll learn and adjust,” Jones said. “We’re going to make sure that we’re absolutely accountable to our taxpayers dollar for dollar on what goes into the classrooms.”

The entire report can be viewed at http://financialreports.utah.gov/saoreports/2017/OOE-17-SP2DualLanguageImmersionEducation,Officeof.pdf

 

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