Sneak Preview: Monitoring Upgrades Urged for Iowa ED Programs

December 4, 2013 | By admin | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Iowa Department of Education is planning steps to better oversee school districts receiving grants in the Shared Visions Preschool Programs and the Early Elementary Innovative Grants Program, in response to recommendations in a recent audit by the Iowa Office of Auditor of State.

The Shared Visions program established a Child Development Coordinating Council to allocate funding to school districts to develop preschool and full-day kindergarten programs for at-risk children aged 3 to 5 years old, and education support services to parents of at-risk children age birth through 3 years. The Early Elementary program, known as “At-Risk K-3 Grants,” requires IDE to allocate funding to school districts with elementary schools demonstrating the greatest need for programs for at-risk students.

School districts and other entities receiving funds under the two programs are required to account for grant activity separately and maintain sufficient supporting documentation. They also must submit year-end reports to IDE, including information on progress toward meeting goals and objectives, actual funds spent and the types of services provided during the fiscal year.

There is no statutory requirement for IDE to conduct site visits in the Shared Visions Program, and recipients should address the use of their grant funds in an annual financial audit. OAS found that although IDE reviewed the year-end expenditure and narrative reports submitted by grantees, it did not perform any independent verification procedures to review the accounting records and documentation to ensure such expenditures are allowable. It also did not independently verify the accuracy of program enrollment information.

IDE relies on school districts and other entities receiving Shared Visions grants to properly code and report grant expenditures. It also relies on financial statement audits rather than monitoring its grantees on-site. “Completion of financial statement audits does not replace IDE’s fiduciary responsibility regarding oversight and monitoring of Shared Visions,” OAS said. “There is no assurance the procedures performed during the financial statement audit address the Shared Vision funding received by school districts and other entities.”




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