California is at risk of losing millions in education stimulus funds because the recipients have been too slow in spending the money.
Six of nine stimulus grants are on pace to miss the Sept. 30 and Dec. 31 spending deadlines set by the federal government, according to a Bureau of State Audits report released last week.
The money in jeopardy includes aid to schools serving minorities and the poor and set-asides to help struggling families obtain child care services.
State auditors found numerous examples of slow spending and non-spending that they concluded could lead to loss of funds, including:
- $2.7 million in school technology stimulus unused by 182 school districts, county education offices and charters
- $2.4 million in Title 1 stimulus grants unspent by at least 20 school districts, county education offices and charters
- $688,000 in special education stimulus unspent at two districts
- $117,000 in child care aid unused by 33 day care providers
- $111,000 in aid for students with disabilities unused by an unnamed education agency
Although it is rare to lose funds of this size, it wouldn’t be the first time California has returned stimulus cash. The state forfeited nearly $865,000 in stimulus last year given for the state’s Child Nutrition Program because it wasn’t spent during the time allotted. And forfeiture isn’t the only problem. Auditors also worry that the fix to this year’s spending conundrum could result in federal money used improperly or illegally. Read more >>