Earlier this summer, the State of Kansas announced they are cancelling a grant for an early literacy program for public school children after an audit found the company that administers the course received millions of dollars they were not entitled to. The Kansas Department for Children and Families announced the end of the contract with Hysell & Wagner, which operated the Kansas Reading Roadmap program.
In Great Bend, KRR provides USD 428 with after-school and summer-school programing for elementary schools.
USD 428 Assistant Superintendent John Popp says those programs will still receive funding for this year, but it remains hard to tell if the future of the programs are safe.
“We know we have this year covered and we’ll see where it goes from there,” said Popp. “I would say the funding source for KRR is less secure than what I felt it was in the past.”
Kansas DCF claims an audit showed Hysell & Wagner claimed nearly $2.3 million in 2014 and 2015 that it should not have. Popp felt confident the Great Bend school district has a good framework for the programs to improve literacy and achievement gaps.
“Hysell & Wagner had all the framework that taught us how to do it well,” said Popp. “I don’t know what all happened behind the scenes with them and DCF, but we will continue as is.”
The director of the Reading Roadmap program, Andrew Hysell, said the company was confident it had properly operated the program.
“We will probably know a lot more about the funding in the next six months,” Popp said.