A state audit finds a program designed to give extra money to schools or head-start programs for at-risk kids wasn’t following through with the proper process to hand out the money.

Deputy State Auditor Tami Kusian says the audit involved the Shared Visions Preschool Program and the Early Elementary Innovative Grants for kindergarten through third grade students administered through the Iowa Department of Education. “The main findings were regarding the fact that the funds weren’t being awarded on a competitive basis to the schools, and then that we felt the department was not providing the monitoring and oversight to the program that they should have,” Kusian says.

The audit covered five fiscal years from 2007 to 2011, with nearly 67-million dollars awarded between the two programs. Kusian says during that time, the grants continued to be awarded to the same schools. “So, it wasn’t being based on whether they were the schools that were actually in the most need,” Kusian explains.

She says the Department of Education is taking action. “The department responded very positively, and they’ve already implemented some changes and I believe the are in the process of implementing some of the other recommendations,” Kusian says.

You can see the complete audit report here: Shared Visions Audit PDF