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Audit: US oversight of charter school funds lax

An audit of the U.S. Department of Education’s division overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in charter school funding has criticized the office for failing to properly monitor how states spend the money, the Associated Press reports. The report released in late September by the department’s Office of the Inspector General also singled out state education departments in California, Florida and Arizona for lax monitoring of what charter schools do with the funds and whether their expenditures comply with federal regulations. The education department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement spent $940 million from 2008 to 2011 on charter schools, which are autonomously operated public schools. Most of the money is funneled through state education departments, although some is given directly to charter schools. The funds are administered through competitive grants aimed at helping launch new charters and replicate successful charter models. The inspector general said the innovation office has not given proper guidance to states on monitoring the use of the money and does not have policies to ensure that states corrected deficiencies when they were found…

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