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How to identify – and expose – inflated student enrollment statistics
Will Evans of The Center for Investigative Reporting explains how he started investigating an Oakland, Calif. church school that appears to have vastly inflated its enrollment numbers to collect extra taxpayer funding.
"The place was in total disrepair, but the pastor drove an Escalade," Evans said.
In this first clip, Evans explains how he found the story (at a subway station, of all places) and began checking out the school.
The next step was to follow the money. Evans explains how Title I and Title II funds flowed into the private school with little oversight.
The religious school appeared to be inflating its enrollment figures to get more money, a detail Evans was able to nail down using local fire department inspection records. In this clip he explains how to spot red flags and, better yet, confirm your hunches.
- Read Will Evans' story "Oakland school accused of abuse is overbilling taxpayers, records show."
- View Evans' slides from the 2013 IRE Conference in San Antonio
- IRE members can log in and listen to the entire session, featuring Michael LaForgia (Tampa Bay Times), Kevin Crowe (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), and Mc Nelly Torres (WTVJ-NBC6 in Miami).