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Audit critical of Native American education program

A new state audit is critical of California's Education Department for mishandling a program that's supposed to help the state's 52,000 Native American students. The state legislature established the California Indian Education Center program more than thirty years ago. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has more.

The Indian Ed Center Program's purpose is to help improve the academic achievement of American Indian students, who traditionally have high drop out rates.
California State Auditor Elaine Howle says the education department has done a poor job of doling out funds for the program, or giving the centers any sort of guidance as to what was expected of them.

Howle: There was nothing that we could see saying here's what we expect you to report to us as far as meeting the goals that you had set out when you received the funding from the state and then if you don't meet these goals, this ultimately is going to be the consequence of that.

The Education Department has agreed with most of the audit's recommendations, but says it will need additional funding to implement the changes. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS News.

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