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Hassan's homework: A mess at Education

October 21. 2017 6:39PM

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

It's hardly the first mess that Gov. Maggie Hassan left for her successor to clean up when she left for the U.S. Senate, nor is it the largest.

The U.S. Department of Education is asking some troubling questions about how New Hampshire spent $3 million in federal education funds, dating back to 2014.

The state sent $55 million in federal money to local school districts to help low-income families, but a federal review of the programs found that New Hampshire had not adequately tracked if that money was being spent properly.

Local school districts were carving out a fixed percentage of each grant for administrative costs, rather than tracking how much money should have been used on personnel.

Current Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut estimates $3 million could be at risk, and says he's corrected the way the state accounts for the grant money.

Accepting money from the federal government always comes with strings attached. If Uncle Sam is writing the check, he can prescribe what the states spend it on, and how they account for it.

Hassan's education department didn't tell local school districts how to do their homework, which could cost us $3 million.

It's just the latest example of Hassan's sloppy administration of state government. State departments were a mess under her watch, and she bolted for Washington while leaving taxpayers with the bill.

Fortunately, Hassan is now safely ensconced in the U.S. Senate, where no actual work is expected of her. She can follow Chuck Schumer's instructions, issue some press releases, and raise money. At least she's found something she's good at.

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