Education A State Capitals Roundup

Audit of Kan. Efforts for At-Risk Reveals Data-Tracking Issues

By Michele McNeil — November 28, 2006 1 min read

A legislative audit has found problems with the way Kansas doles out more than $100 million annually to school districts for programs for at-risk youths because of inaccuracies in the counting of students who receive federally funded free lunches.

According to the audit, released Nov. 13, as many as 17 percent of students receiving free lunches may be ineligible for the state programs because their family incomes were too high, costing the state $19 million extra in funding for students deemed at-risk of academic failure. Kansas distributes such funding, which totaled $111 million last school year, based on how many students in each district are eligible for the federal free-lunch program.

The audit concluded that it’s difficult for districts to get an accurate free-lunch count because they can’t inspect families’ financial records.

A version of this article appeared in the November 29, 2006 edition of Education Week