Education Funding

Probe Into Ky. Grant Leaps State Borders

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 23, 2008 1 min read

A federal investigation into the alleged misuse of a $694,000 U.S. Department of Education grant is having ramifications for college and public school administrators in three states.

The probe involves Robert D. Felner, a former dean of the education school at the University of Louisville, Ky., who oversaw the grant. It was created in a 2005 federal spending bill to establish a center at the university to improve student achievement in Kentucky under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

But university officials found what spokesman John Drees deemed “potential issues” in the grant spending and referred the matter to federal officials in June.

Louisville-based U.S. Attorney David Huber, whose office is spearheading the investigation, could not be reached for comment.

Officials at the Kentucky Department of Education—listed as a partner in the application for the project—said they had not heard of it.

“Nobody knows anything about it,” said Lisa Gross, a department spokeswoman. “We’re scratching our heads.”

Federal investigators have also begun to examine Mr. Felner’s relationship with former employers.

E-mails uncovered by The Courier-Journal, of Louisville, indicate that Mr. Felner apparently directed some funds to a separate research body at the University of Rhode Island, in Kingston, where he worked from 1997 to 2003.

Robert Weygand, the vice president for administration at URI, said that center did some work for the University of Louisville, but URI officials had “no indication whatsoever” that anything might be amiss with payments it received.

Mr. Felner’s lawyer, Scott C. Cox, said that the results of the federal probe, which is expected to be completed in October, will vindicate his client.

The controversy also has spilled over into the 133,000-student Prince George’s County, Md., school district. John E. Deasy, now Prince George’s superintendent, received a doctorate from the University of Louisville after he completed only nine credits there under Mr. Felner.

John White, a spokesman for the Prince George’s system, said that pending the outcome of the investigation, the district school board will decide whether to take any action.

A version of this article appeared in the September 24, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Education Funding Whitepaper
Big Legislation, Big Opportunities
The U.S. Congress has created an unprecedented, once-in-a-generation surge in educational funding, and this guide will provide real, tang...
Content provided by n2y
Education Funding School Infrastructure Funding in Flux as Senators Advance Package Funding Electric Buses
Groups are warning school infrastructure could get shortchanged as Democrats negotiate a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget deal.
5 min read
facilities infrasturcture 1284422306 [Converted] 02
Pratya Vuttapanit/iStock/Getty
Education Funding The Fight Over Charter School Funding in Washington, Explained
Tensions between some Democrats in Congress and charter school backers have reached a new level over proposed restrictions on federal aid.
6 min read
Image of the Capitol.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding What the House Education Spending Bill Would Do for Schools, in One Chart
House lawmakers have advanced a funding bill for next year with big increases for several education programs, but it's far from a done deal.
3 min read
Collage of Capitol dome and school
Getty