State Auditor says Mississippi Department of Education has ignored state law regarding CARES Act money

Shad White says multiple school districts have contacted his office

State Auditor says Mississippi Department of Education has ignored state law regarding CARES Act money

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State Auditor Shad White has written a letter to Governor Tate Reeves, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, and Philip Gunn, Speaker of the House regarding Coronavirus Relief Funds and the Mississippi Department of Education.

The State Auditor says the goal for the COVID-19 stimulus dollars was to help schools expand distance learning.
The State Auditor says the goal for the COVID-19 stimulus dollars was to help schools expand distance learning. (Source: WLBT)

White says he has concerns MDE has ignored state law and made it more difficult for schools to purchase technology using money from the CARES Act.

White says the goal of the money was to help schools expand distance learning capabilities. He says MDE is forcing school districts to choose companies on their preferred list and locks out some vendors.

In the letter with Monday's date White says he has a responsibility to shed light on places where the law around public money is being willfully ignored.
In the letter with Monday's date White says he has a responsibility to shed light on places where the law around public money is being willfully ignored. (Source: WLBT)

The State Auditor says MDE’s position contradicts state law. He says the law clearly gives districts the flexibility to buy outside of MDE’s list. White adds, robbing districts of this flexibility will slow down their ability to buy computers for students who may need to learn at home.

In the letter, White also says multiple districts have contacted his office about this issue.

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