Education Department to Investigate Propriety of Deals With Company Founded by President's Brother

The inspector general of the Education Department says he will review whether federal money is inappropriately being spent on education programs by a company founded by Neil Bush, the president's brother.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Washington-based watchdog group, called for the inquiry and released a letter this week from the inspector general, John Higgins Jr.

In it, Higgins said he would ask an assistant inspector general to look into the group's complaint.

CREW contends school districts are inappropriately using federal money for Ignite! programs. The group argues there is no proof the company's products are effective and claims the schools are using the products due to political considerations.

Ignite! sells a product it refers to as a Curriculum on Wheels, which comes with software to teach math, social studies and science and costs about $3,800 each, not including maintenance costs, according to CREW.

A telephone call to Ignite! Learning, which has a mailing address in Austin, Texas, was not immediately returned. In a previous statement posted on the company Web site, Ignite! Learning stated that it had no control over how school districts choose to spend federal funds. Neil Bush founded the company about a decade ago.