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Gov. Little wants a full audit of the 'Empowering Parents' program

Brad Little, Politics

A state microgrant program, designed to help Idahoans with the cost of their kids' education, is under scrutiny after Gov. Brad Little said he wants a full financial audit of the program to determine if parents are buying TVs, clothes and smartwatches with the money instead of laptops, textbooks or behavioral therapy.

The $50 million Empowering Parents program was designed to give parents $1,000 for each child to meet their educational needs and almost $50 million has gone out to more than 25,000 families.

But the program, which was one of the governor’s top education priorities this year, went under review in April by the State Board of Education. The Board said some of the money, as much as seven percent of all purchases, may have been spent on things that have nothing to do with a kid’s education.

Here to break down this story for Idaho Matters is Kevin Richert, senior reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News.

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