- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - State auditors say the Arizona Department of Education is already taking steps to ensure that dollars provided parents under a school voucher program are not misspent but should strengthen its oversight.

The Empowerment Scholarship program created in 2011 allows spending of tax dollars for some students who don’t attend private schools.

The Auditor General’s Office says the department tries to prevent transactions with merchants whose goods and services aren’t related to education and already works to thwart cash withdrawals from accounts.

The office’s recommendation include that the department set criteria for assessing risks of misspending and create fraud reporting systems such as a hotline or website.

The department’s response says it generally agrees with the auditors’ recommendations and that the recommendations largely track efforts already underway.

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