High school program under investigation for education fraud - WNEM TV 5

High school program under investigation for education fraud

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VASSAR, MI (WNEM) -

A Mid-Michigan school district is under the microscope of a state police investigation centering around a third party vendor that managed alternative online programs.

The investigation is looking into alleged poor record keeping by the Michigan Educational Partnership, which may have led to phony diplomas. Dozens of students may have received fraudulent diplomas, including some students that might not have been enrolled in any classes.

"That'd be upsetting if I was counting on the diploma for future employment or additional schooling. That would stink," said Ben Phillips, Vassar resident.

According to the Tuscola County Advertiser, the MEP is at the center of a criminal investigation for potentially handing out fraudulent high school diplomas and collecting state issued money for students who the program never taught to.

"That sounds like fraud to me. They need to be prosecuted," said William Steinmann, Vassar resident.

According to the report, MEP took 90 percent of state issued money, leaving Vassar schools with the remaining 10 percent. One parent said that doesn't seem fair.

"For the school not to be getting enough money to take care of the kids that are actually attending, that's not right either," said Trisha Ray, parent.

Vassar Public Schools Superintendent Dorothy Blackwell was not in her office when TV5 stopped by. However she released a statement acknowledging the Michigan State Police have an investigation regarding the matters of MEP.

Tuscola Intermediate School District Superintendent Gene Pierce also confirmed his district is questioning the validity of transcripts and at least one fraudulent diploma was sent out to a student who did not have enough credits to graduate.

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