State Gets Go-Ahead To End Federal Tutoring Program

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The state auditor was investigating allegations of fraudulent billing in connection with a federal tutoring program, 10TV’s Kristyn Hartman reported on Wednesday.

Officials from the Ohio Department of Education said that they wanted to get rid of the federally funded tutoring program designed to help students at underperforming schools.

The Supplemental Educational Services program, part of the No Child Left Behind program, is designed to gives students help outside of the classroom.

10 Investigates last year exposed a gap between the eligible and those children who actually received tutoring.

State documents showed that a tutoring provider who received tax dollars to tutor students did not do so under guidelines set by the federal government, Hartman reported.

Marc Bradley’s firm is a tutoring provider for the Columbus City School District.

“The good thing is that they’re learning,” Bradley said. “That’s what’s supposed to happen, but if they come, if I can get them in front of my tutors, I can help them.”

Columbus schools suspended nine providers this year, and one firm received termination papers, Hartman reported.

Two of the firms suspended are still receiving payment, Hartman reported.

Monitoring forms obtained by10TV News showed that tutors at the Sonshine Organization were transporting students in unauthorized vehicles. The same forms also detailed a number of paperwork problems.

According to documents, at least two spot checks revealed no one was on site with no evidence of scheduled tutoring occurring.

Organization officials said that Columbus schools did not offer successful collaboration and said that tutoring was interrupted on a daily basis.

Bradley said that monitoring improved at his firm and weeded out providers who were not putting money toward the students.

“A good thing that Columbus City Schools also did is that you can’t get paid unless we see your progress reports now,” Bradley said.

The Ohio Department of Education got the go-ahead to eliminate the SES program.

“We knew that we needed to do some overhaul,” ODE spokesman Patrick Gallaway said. “What’s taking its place is a local program that every school district eligible will actually run, tailor their program to best fit the needs of their students.”

Columbus schools said that it was too soon to know how it would reshape its tutoring program.

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