Education News

Medina Valley ISD’s spending of COVID relief funds under scrutiny by the Department of Education

CASTROVILLE, Texas – Investigators have begun reviewing how Medina Valley Independent School District officials have spent federal pandemic relief funds, a superintendent’s briefing published ahead of Monday’s school board meeting confirms.

The United States Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General launched the inquiry after receiving “numerous complaints” about how the district used COVID relief money.

The federal government appropriated $190 billion in ESSER funds and over $4 billion in GEER funds to provide schools across the country with pandemic relief and emergency assistance.

The oversight review, which the district has been quick to declare is not an investigation, requires Medina Valley ISD officials to turn over expenditure records.

Records will show the use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds covering March 2020 to present, according to a June 28 letter sent to the district by the OIG’s special investigations unit.

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Former superintendent Dr. Kenneth Rohrbach and other MVISD officials met with two OIG agents on June 30.

A superintendent’s briefing on the district’s website covering its July 18 board meeting states that the agents told the officials several times that the district is not under investigation.

A Department of Education OIG spokeswoman declined to comment earlier this summer, stating in an email that the agency “does not generally confirm nor deny investigative activity.”

New MVISD superintendent Dr. Scott Caloss did not respond to an email seeking comment for this story.

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