Where did 3,000 Utah students go?

Jan 30, 2019 by

An audit finds big gap between online preschool’s enrollment and how many kids later showed up in kindergarten

UPSTART, a state-sponsored online preschool program, may be receiving $1 million more in funding than it should and serving fewer low-income students than it is required to by law.

A report released Tuesday by the Office of the State Auditor found that the Waterford Institute program, which was originally designed to assist families who are economically at risk, said it taught 12,831 preschool students last year. But by this October, the state could find only 9,804 of those students enrolled in kindergarten.

That’s a discrepancy of more than 3,000 students.

“You have some kind of mismatch that doesn’t align,” said state Auditor John Dougall.

In “a worst case scenario,” he added, inflated numbers could have resulted in Waterford collecting reimbursements it did not earn. In the more likely case, many of the students who are unaccounted for could have moved out of state, gone to private kindergarten programs or not gone to kindergarten, which is not required in Utah.

Source: Where did 3,000 Utah students go? An audit finds big gap between online preschool’s enrollment and how many kids later showed up in kindergarten – The Salt Lake Tribune

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