Texas may have received some $10 million more in federal hurricane aid than it was entitled to, a U.S. Department of Education audit released last week concludes.
The state did not have an adequate system in place for making sure school districts accurately counted the number of students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 for the purpose of claiming federal funds made available under the Hurricane Education Recovery Act, the Sept. 18 report by the department’s inspector general’s office said. Texas and Louisiana also counted the same 533 students over the same time period. As of January, Texas had received about $235 million in aid for displaced students.
In a response to a draft of the audit, Texas Education Agency officials said they should not have to return the federal money the state received since it did not cover all of their expenses. And Texas schools served an additional 4,500 displaced students, who were never counted for federal funds, the TEA said.