The office of the Department of Education’s inspector general has asked the Detroit school district to return nearly $1 million in money the office says was spent improperly under a federal program designed to increase parental involvement in schools.
A June 22 audit by the inspector general’s office says the Detroit district improperly spent $930,448 in Title I money designed to draw parents into the process to improve the district’s schools. That amount was spent improperly on payroll and fringe benefits, student recruitment, general equipment, and promotional items such as calculators and travel mugs with the district’s logo printed on them, the audit says.
While Detroit officials did not dispute the findings of the audit, spokesman Lekan O. Oguntoyinbo stressed that the problems occurred under previous leadership, and that many of the changes suggested by the audit report have already been put into place.
The audit comes as the district is grappling with broader financial problems and declines in enrollment. (“Detroit Schools Struggle to Stem Student Loss,” this issue.)
A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week