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Education Dept. Assailed for Paying Bank

United Press International

Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) on Saturday gave his “Golden Fleece” award to the Education Department for paying a bank $760,000 in interest on hundreds of student loan checks--even though they were never cashed.

Proxmire, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee, gives his monthly award for what he terms “the most wasteful . . . ridiculous” use of the taxpayers’ money.

Proxmire charged that between 1978 and 1982, the department, which oversees the student loan program, failed to follow up on 1,600 checks issued to students.

“For playing softball with the bank instead of fair with the taxpayer, the DOE has earned a dunce cap,” Proxmire said. “No one at the bank or at DOE checked on whether the money had been used for its intended purpose. With this level of supervision, no wonder some students and schools . . . rip off this program.”

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