The federal government is calling for a forensic audit of two of the Mississippi Department of Education’s programs, according to State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s office.

Last school year, Mississippi Department of Education officials overspent the 21st Century funds. When they discovered the deficit, they then used Title I funds to fill the deficit, which is not allowed.

The Department eventually had to repay $7 million from its general fund to cover the Title I funds that had been misspent and State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright announced three employees had been fired as a result.

The misuse of the funds also led to the loss of many federally funded after-school programs for low-income students this school year. In the aftermath of the revelations, Pickering instructed the Mississippi Department of Education to contract with an outside firm to conduct a regular financial audit of five federal programs managed by the department.

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