Mid-Del Schools Accused By Education Officials Of Misusing COVID Relief Funds

District officials for Mid-Del Schools learned on Wednesday it will be on the hook for repaying $573,588 from its own local or state allocations following allegations of misspending from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Wednesday, May 8th 2024, 9:56 pm

By: News 9, Matt McCabe


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District officials for Mid-Del Schools learned on Wednesday it will be on the hook for repaying $573,588 from its own local or state allocations following allegations of misspending from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

In a statement, the department announced it discovered Mid-Del Schools spent Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief on "athletic lawn services." State officials declared the spending impermissible, and the district was asked to pay it back.

"Mid-Del has broken the public trust and spent more than a half million dollars on a pet project rather than addressing the immediate academic needs of our students," State Superintendent Ryan Walters said in a statement.

The department came to the conclusion after a site visit on March 28th. But, district officials said no prior notice was given that any noncompliance had been observed.

"The expenditures aligned with our understanding of the federal guidelines and those of OSDE staff," the district said in a statement.

Officials for Mid-Del Schools argue that guidance on funds not being available for athletic facilities was not made public until Dec. 7, 2022, which is six months after the last use of the funds for "athletic lawn services."

Confusion related to the department's inquiry into the district's federal spending prompted Mid-Del schools to file an open records request asking the State Department of Education to provide all emails regarding federal programs at Mid-Del Schools.

"We will abide by their request to return the funds and work with the Office of Title Services to re-allocate them in a manner that they feel is allowable," the district added. "Following receipt of this letter, we will also review our purchasing policies and procedures."

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