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Posted at 10:09 PM ET, 11/18/2010

GAO: DCPS, OSSE lag in contract oversight

By Bill Turque

The Government Accountability Office reported again Thursday pretty much what they've reported for years: that D.C. Public Schools and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) don't do a particularly good job of monitoring how federal money is spent.

Between 2004 and 2009, GAO said, the two agencies have received $190 million in federal payments (apart from Title I or IDEA funds) for a range of initiatives, including charter school facilities financing, teacher incentive pay and summer programs. But federal officials say that the District has had persistent problems demonstrating exactly how the money has been spent, especially prior to 2009. For example, between 2004 and 2007, DCPS received $37.4 million for "literacy improvement," but "was unable to provide information to describe the program's goals, objectives or outcomes."

District officials say in the official response pretty much what they've said for years: that they're doing better. But D.C. remains what's called in federalese "a high-risk grantee."

As with many GAO reports, it's a mix of serious stuff and what sounds like nitpicky, nickel-and-dime tail chasing. But it was enough for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking member and soon to be chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to fire up another press release lamenting the loss of the voucher program.

"The D.C. Public School system continues business as usual and is plagued by a lack of accountability," Issa said. "With teachers unions having succeeded in cutting off Opportunity Scholarships, it's deeply troubling that poor D.C. school children have no alternatives for getting an education."

By Bill Turque  | November 18, 2010; 10:09 PM ET
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When the fox is in charge of the chicken coop and do I need to say anymore.

Posted by: PowerandPride | November 19, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

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