Aug 27, 2013 1:53 PM by AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An audit finds a Head Start contractor in New Orleans didn't enroll enough preschoolers to justify its federal grant. The report from the state legislative auditor's office says the nonprofit Total Community Action needed at least 2,510 students to comply with its grant but had enrolled only 1,951 in December.
In addition, the grant required that at least 10 percent be students with disabilities. The center was found to have a smaller percentage, although the audit did not specify the figure.
The Times-Picayune reports Total Community Action responded that enrollment was down last year because some of its Head Start centers were under construction or renovation. With the reopening of some this month and more coming in January, the agency said, it will reach the minimum enrollment for its grant.
The agency disputed the finding on disabled students, saying at least 10 percent are disabled. But because some haven't been officially assessed as disabled, they were not counted, it said. Auditors recommended monitoring the enrollment.
The audit also contested $18,000 in 2011 grant money that had not been used in 2011 or 2012. Total Community Action said it used the money in 2013.