in Houston, Texas
Education stimulus money recipients in Texas flubbed on reports regarding jobs, money and material, TEA audit says
Thursday, Nov 11, 2010, 06:26AM CST
By Lynn Walsh
money

Some Texas recipients of education-related federal stimulus cash failed to accurately report how many jobs were created, how much was paid to vendors or spent on construction or whether American-made material was used in building projects, an audit by the Texas Education Agency shows.

The audit report, released this week by the TEA, details missing or inaccurate information related to spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It doesn’t specify whether the mistakes were made by school districts or individual schools, both of which received stimulus funding. A call to the TEA was not returned Tuesday afternoon.

According to the audit:

  • Some stimulus recipients reported inaccurate numbers of full-time employees in quarterly reports.
  • The number of jobs created or retained (a main goal of the stimulus) were not recorded by some recipients.
  • Some recipients left out payments to vendors that exceeded $25,000.
  • Total costs for infrastructure projects were not included on some recipients websites as required by stimulus guidelines.

TEA also found that some recipients did not keep the proper proof that they were using products made in the United States, a requirement under the “Buy American” provisions in stimulus bill -- a recipient of stimulus funds is supposed to make sure all manufactured goods used in construction, like steel, are made in the U.S.

According to the report, TEA visited different stimulus-funded sites and reviewed financial reports while conducting the audits, something TEA says it will continue to do this year.

The audit report posted on the TEA website also asks all recipients to fix all the mistakes that were found and make sure they are following the proper reporting guidelines in the future. The audits were conducted by the Special Monitoring Unit of the TEA’s Division of Financial Audits.

How do you think school districts are doing at monitoring the spending of stimulus money? Texas Watchdog wants to hear from you. Contact Lynn Walsh, Lynn@TexasWatchdog.org, 713-228-2850 or on Twitter @LWalsh.

Photo of money stack by flickr user AMagill, used under a Creative Commons license.

Comments
stox1994
Friday, 11/12/2010 - 09:26AM

What do you expect? Every time Texas gets money it never goes to the intended purpose. Someone is lining their pockets with taxpayers money

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