Printer Friendly

ACT RESPONDS TO AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT AT HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING

 ACT RESPONDS TO AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
 AT HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
 LANSING, Mich., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees, students and other supporters of a firm that provides adult education programs to about 40 Michigan school districts packed a legislative subcommittee meeting today in response to a state auditor general's preliminary report the company says is inaccurate and misleading.
 The report, prepared last month by Michigan Auditor General Thomas McTavish, suggested that school districts' arrangements with private firms to provide adult education do not give students the career training they need and that contractors, such as Farmington Hills-based Adult Career Training Corp. (ACT), "pad" student enrollment numbers to increase profits.
 Representatives of ACT told the House Subcommittee on K-12 Education that the report's allegations of enrollment fraud and program inadequacy were based on incomplete information. They said the report likely would have been more accurate and less critical if auditors had taken more time to learn the methods used to administer the programs.
 In prepared remarks to the subcommittee, which reports to the House Appropriations Committee, ACT representatives provided background about the company and its services, and defended its efforts to comply with state law and education department guidelines.
 Private program providers such as ACT service individual school districts with curriculum, teachers, equipment and supplies for adult education programs in career-oriented classes such as computer drafting and bookkeeping, electronics, health care, heating and cooling and employability skills. School districts are reimbursed by the state using a "slot funding" formula that counts eligible, enrolled students. State aid funds are paid directly to the school districts, which then pay the contractor for its service.
 Responding to the report's allegations on enrollment numbers, ACT Marketing Director Tom Olsen said the enrollment representatives take direction from the school districts to comply with state requirements. He said the firm seeks eligible students through referrals, advertisements and telemarketing campaigns. He supports the school districts in their response that only students who meet eligibility and other state requirements are counted for reimbursement.
 "We are not aware of any incidence of padding a classroom," Olsen said. "We know how many seats there are and we work to fill them."
 For each ACT program, a list of individuals who complete an application form is used to develop a roster and sign-in sheet. Students are required to sign in each day they attend class. Final payment from the state to the school districts is based on a state audit at the school district, and the sign-in sheets help prevent the state from paying for students who don't attend class, ACT representatives said.
 In addition, rules have been established in the past year that place further controls on the funding process and help assure a quality educational environment. Among them: Establishment of student-teacher ratios, requirements for separate teachers for each course module and funding based on completion and attendance.
 Mary Skrocki, director of ACT's health care programs, defended the value of adult education training programs for students. She said the programs provide skills that can be used in entry-level jobs or advanced study. And there are other goals of the program which were not audited, she said.
 "We're also trying to teach these students, most of whom are high school dropouts, about self-esteem, problem solving, and team and employability skills," she said.
 A third ACT speaker responded to the report's criticism of a lack of certified teachers leading the programs. Curriculum Director Joyce Chaffee discussed the professionalism of the teaching staff and outlined measurement tools used by the school districts to determine if the teachers are qualified.
 An ACT spokeswoman said the presentations were made to underscore the need for programs, such as ACT's, that teach valuable career skills and are necessary to reach those who otherwise would not likely receive an education.
 The auditor general's report questioned the state's high level of funding for adult occupational education and the percentage that has gone to ACT in the past couple years.
 The spokeswoman said the increase in state expenditures that has accompanied the development of ACT's programs is an indicator of the programs' value generally and ACT's programs specifically. She said it also indicates the need for the training programs for the students who take them. Since June 1990, 12,648 of the potential students who have inquired about the program have come from the referrals of previous ACT students.
 -0- 5/20/92
 /CONTACT: Susan Dennis of ACT, 313-932-5800; or Don Durocher or Mike Chapp of Durocher & Co., 313-259-7414, for ACT/ CO: Adult Career Training Corp. ST: Michigan IN: SU:


ML -- DE005 -- 2236 05/20/92 10:03 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 20, 1992
Words:766
Previous Article:AMERICAN GREETINGS OFFERS MOTHER'S DAY TIPS
Next Article:TAKE THE BYTE OUT OF THE SEARCH FOR AN ORIGINAL MOTHER'S DAY GIFT; MICROSOFT SOLUTION SERIES FOR THE '90S WORKING MOM
Topics:


Related Articles
GAO report finds improved single audit quality.
ADULT CAREER TRAINING CORP. REPRESENTATIVES TO ADDRESS HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON K-12 EDUCATION
ORANGE COUNTY BONDHOLDERS DEMAND INVESTIGATION OF DIVERTED MONIES
New Accounting Model Demanded.
Responses to Posthearing Questions Related to GAO's Testimony on the U.S. Government's Consolidated Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2003.
Responses to Posthearing Questions Related to GAO's Testimony on the U.S. Government's Consolidated Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2003.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters