Audit: Baltimore & PG Schools Wildly Misspent Funds

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General issued an audit of Maryland’s use of federal money given as part of the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” The audit covered from April 2009 through June 2010, but was expanded through May 2011 after uncovering prohibited expenses.

The report found $362,939 in unallowable and $346,861 in unsupported expenditures. The troubling expenditures included travel, entertainment events, utility bills, awards, giveaway items, food, and items for personal use.

The audit also found that Maryland Dept. of Education did not monitor any of the Recovery Act expenditures until after the audit period.

Breakdown of some of the most outrageous expenses, all of which are prohibited uses of federal grant money:
$2,413 for a fried chicken dinner at a PTA meeting for 25 adults ($99/parent)
$4,352 for two Baltimore Inner Harbor dinner cruises for parents and teachers
$1,336 for 30 people for dinner, dancing, and a performance by a “local singer” at a theater in Baltimore
$500 for food at a Parent/Student makeover day
PG County even paid $222 for an electric pencil sharpener

Sources: US DOE Office of Inspector General
Baltimore Sun for original story

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