Company sees retaliation in ending literacy grant



August 20, 2019 - 10:28 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The president of the company that formerly ran a literacy program for Kansas’ public elementary schools alleged Monday that the state canceled the multimillion-dollar grant in “retaliation” for the firm’s opposition to major changes state officials were seeking.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families ended the grant for Washington-based Hysell & Wagner six weeks after its president, Andrew Hysell, and department secretary, Laura Howard, signed a yearlong extension in late June imposing new conditions. Hysell told reporters that two days after he and Howard signed the extension, the department began seeking another change, in how the company distributed grant dollars to public schools.

The department announced the end of the grant Friday, saying it had found problems that included excessive payments for expenses that included travel by Hysell and another top executive for the Reading Roadmap program.

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