NCLB Tutoring Fraud Part of Larger Pattern of Privateering
—Private providers accounted for 88 percent of all state-approved providers in May 2008, an increase from 60 percent in May 2003.—Expenditures for Title I supplemental educational services varied, $192 million to $375 million per year.—By 2007, only eight states had databases containing student achievement and participation information that would permit rigorous evaluations of achievement effects of providers on a statewide basis.
Test-prep firm Princeton Review swindled the federal government out of millions by falsely claiming it tutored needy city kids, the Manhattan U.S. attorney charges.
From 2006 to 2010, Princeton Review was reimbursed for tutoring services that were either faked or inflated, said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office filed a civil fraud suit Tuesday.
“The Princeton Review and its employees were supposed to tutor needy students, not cheat a federal program,” said Bharara, who didn’t specify how much money is involved.
During those years, city education officials paid Princeton Review $38 million for tutoring funded by the federal government under No Child Left Behind, the suit says.
During that time, Princeton Review staffers submitted phony attendance forms and invoices for thousands of hours of instruction, the suit claims.
Bharara said staffers changed hundreds of kids’ absent marks to present — in one case falsely signing in a student named Dontae as “Donate.”
The company billed for sessions with kids who were on vacation and gave some site managers bonuses of up to $9,600 for reporting high daily attendance, the suit says. . . .