Audit criticizes Iowa Department of Education


October 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An audit finds the Iowa Department of Education doesn’t use a competitive process for awarding nearly $67 million to schools or head-start programs for at-risk children and does little monitoring of those efforts.  The Des Moines Register reports  the audit released Thursday shows the grants are awarded to the same recipients without evaluations to determine if others have a greater need.

Jeff Berger, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Education, says the audit is fair and changes are underway. However, some education officials told auditors they have concerns about opening some funding to competition because private entities and other head-start programs may not be able to compete with public school districts. They argue that inconsistent money would make it difficult for districts to maintain standards for their programs.