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GEAR Up Program Failed to Meet Key Performance Benchmarks

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The administrators of an American Indian college-readiness program that has cost taxpayers more than $16 million over the past decade fell short of several key performance benchmarks in the last year.

The Argus Leader reports administrators of the South Dakota Gear Up program failed to achieve nearly a dozen key outcomes, including the number of students it served. The most recent evaluation of the program found they met about a half-dozen outcomes.

State officials say those shortcomings coupled with red flags in at least two financial audits led them to not renew the GEAR UP contract with Mid-Central Educational Cooperative recently.

Investigators believe Mid-Central’s business manager, Scott Westerhuis, shot his wife and four children last week, then set the family home near Platte ablaze before shooting himself.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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