Following the recent news articles purporting misuse of Title I funding by SES tutoring providers in Florida, Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett released the following press release on Supplemental Educational Services:
Florida D.O.E Comments
“We must demand the highest levels of accountability and integrity from supplemental educational services (SES) providers. We must hold the businesses and their leaders responsible for proving that the dollars directed to tutoring economically disadvantaged, academically struggling students produce the results intended. Our students deserve nothing less.
“The Department of Education will explore all avenues to make sure that students enrolled in SES programs will receive quality tutoring by professionals who are dedicated and committed to the educational success of each student.
“To do this we will focus on four areas.
- We will work to ensure that SES providers offer a safe learning environment, which includes requiring owners to pass background checks.
- We will work with the legislature to reduce costs so that they are appropriate for the actual services provided.
- The department will move forward to establish benchmarks to guarantee that each child is learning what they need to be successful in the classroom. We should know that our investment in our students is producing a return.
- And we will work to identify and eliminate fraud and pursue recovery of misused state resources. The department has zero tolerance for fraud.
“Supporting students whose families cannot afford the tutoring services their children need to do well in school helps ensure that all students in Florida have the kind of education that prepares them for success in college, career, and life.”
In an EdWeek story released today U.S. Department of Education spokesman Daren Briscoe is quoted as responding to the news stories:
“The allegations in the Tampa Bay Times story about SES providers are serious and troubling. Ensuring that states are good stewards of federal taxpayer dollars is one of the foremost responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Education, and there is no excuse for misuse of federal funds intended to support academically struggling students. The department has already been in contact with the Florida State Department of Education, and is discussing potential implications with our attorneys.”
oaSES Online Tutor Scheduling and Accountability software for all tutoring providers: SES, ELT and private tutoring.