IRE Radio

How to investigate subsidized tutoring

Florida's mandated tutoring program used taxpayer dollars to hire firms run by criminals, cheaters and profiteers. Last year Tampa Bay Times reporter Michael LaForgia used invoice records, complaint reports, audits and interviews to report on the industry, which goes virtually unchecked by state regulators.

In this series of clips LaForgia walks through how to investigate subsidized tutoring. To get started, LaForgia introduces Supplemental Educational Services (SES) and explains how it affects your community.



Step 1: Identify the contractors and find out who's getting paid.
(To view the presentation that goes with this audio, click here.)


Step 2: Run background checks. Always. Don't assume the school division has done this. LaForgia found companies headed by rapists, thieves and drug users.



Step 3: Follow the money. Get lists of payments to tutoring vendors and build a spreadsheet.



Step 4: Check with the regulators. Look for banned vendors, complaints, and lists of contract terminations.



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