News in Brief

Federal Civics Programs Under Fire

Ed. Dept. Inspector General Faults 'We the People' Spending

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

The U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general has found widespread problems with two federally financed civics education programs, including the We the People program, run by the Calibasas, Calif.-based nonprofit Center for Civic Education.

In a review of $7.4 million in spending by the center over a one-year period, auditors found $1.2 million in expenditures was not allowed under federal regulations, and another $4.7 million couldn’t be supported by proper documentation. In addition to We the People, auditors scrutinized the center’s Cooperative Civic Education and Economic Education Exchange Program. Both programs seek to foster civic education in K-12 schools. They are also part of a laundry list of cuts the Obama administration has proposed for the fiscal 2010 Education Department budget.

Among the problems auditors flagged: The center used grant funds to pay settlements to former employees to avoid lawsuits alleging some type of harassment or discrimination; the center spent $3,566 on an airline ticket to India for the executive director’s spouse, who did not work for the center; and center employees spent hundreds of additional dollars on hotel rooms and meals above the standard government allowance. The auditors also found that the center didn’t have basic controls in place to make sure money was spent, and accounted for, appropriately.

In a detailed letter of response, Charles N. Quigley, the centers executive director, stressed that although the audit found some minor, unallowable costs, the organization "performed precisely the work it promised to do, performed that work very well, and effectively and conscientiously served the purpose of each of ED's grants." In fact, the center found the audit "unduly harsh, unfair, and at times misleading."

Vol. 29, Issue 13, Page 4

Published in Print: December 2, 2009, as Federal Civics Programs Under Fire
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >