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Audit: STCC’s Spending of CARES Act Funding Consistent with Federal Guidelines

BOSTON — In an audit released Aug. 18, the office of state Auditor Suzanne Bump found Springfield Technical Community College’s spending of federal assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been consistent with federal guidelines.

During the audit, which examined March 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020, STCC received $4,586,795 in CARES Act funding and spent $1,157,621. The majority of STCC’s spending (97%) was allocated to students for emergency financial aid to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, and the remaining funds covered institutional costs.

“There is no doubt that the CARES Act has provided a much-needed lifeline to support higher-education institutions, like Springfield Technical Community College. I commend STCC’s appropriate use of these federal funds,” Bump said of the audit. “As we move forward, my office will continue this work to ensure federal COVID-19 relief money is used as intended and effectively by state government entities.”

The CARES Act was enacted by Congress on March 27, 2020, and provided $30.75 billion for a national Education Stabilization Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Department of Education received $50.8 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds from the CARES Act, which it then distributed to elementary-, secondary-, and higher-education recipients. This week’s audit is the second in a series of upcoming reports that will review state spending of COVID-19 federal funding.

In addition, unrelated to the examination of CARES Act spending, the audit notes that STCC had not established a campus-wide program to ensure that employees receive cybersecurity training. In its response, STCC stated that it is working toward providing mandatory IT training for all staff.

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