The U.S. Department of Education needs to do a better job of managing the federal grant program for teachers, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The TEACH Grant program provides up to $4,000 a year for students who commit to teaching low-income school districts for at least four out of eight years after graduation.
Recipients who don’t follow through on that commitment have their grants converted into loans. About 36,000 of the TEACH Grant’s more than 112,000 recipients have fallen into that category, the G.A.O. found.
In some cases, though, those conversions were the result of the government's or its contractors’ error.
G.A.O. investigators found that between August 2013 and September 2014, 2,252 TEACH Grant recipients had their grants erroneously converted into loans by the company hired by the Education Department to manage the program.
The department said that it mostly agreed with the G.A.O.’s recommendations, which included establishing performance measures for the program and studying why so many TEACH Grant recipients fail to fulfill their service commitment.
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