MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

May 5, 2012

Audit ensures money used correctly

— A federal audit determined Fort Gibson Schools were not using Title VII funding for its intended purpose — to improve the education of Native American students.

That’s a shame.

There is no indication the school district did anything overtly wrong.

The district spent money — designated for Native students — to fund a program that allowed all students to participate.

The School Adventure Program, which has been around since at least 1995, was a four-week activity program during the summer.

Any student, regardless of whether they had a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, was allowed to participate.

Now, the funding will be used to emphasize math and reading during a newly created program called the Title VII Native American Academy.

This a good thing.

All taxpayers, regardless of race, should want funds designated for a singular purpose to be used for that singular purpose.

To use funds desginated for a specific issue in any other way is why government is unable to achieve many of its goals.

There are plenty of tax-paying parents who are upset that the original program has been canceled. Their feelings and concerns are valid.

Their children will no longer benefit from the program because there is not enough money to continue it.

However, no form of government can function efficiently if the purpose of funding is circumvented.

Fort Gibson Schools did not intentionally do anything wrong.

But, the money did not go to the rightful place.

The district has fixed the problem.

And many Native students will benefit.

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