BOE, parent groups to discuss policy changes

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Tuttle-BuildingNAUGATUCK — The Board of Education decided Thursday to postpone action on proposed changes to the way schools manage outside activity funds.

The vote came after parents affiliated with parent-teacher organizations protested that they would like to be consulted before any changes are enacted.

Representatives from the parent groups submitted a list of questions to the board, including what the procedures would be if a central treasury system is adopted for the lower grades, and what the turnaround time would be for issuing checks.

“We’d like to have them addressed prior to any policy changes,” said Toni Cestari, a member of the Andrew Avenue Elementary School parent group.

Parents also presented a 2011 ledger from the Andrew Avenue group showing 113 transactions were conducted that school year. The final balance neared $1,100.

Melissa Teator, secretary of the Maple Hill Elementary School parent group, said parents do not mind submitting spreadsheets and being audited, but they are concerned about difficulties accessing their money under a central treasury system.

“Clearly we want to be accountable with our money,” Teator said.

Parents will meet with the board’s finance committee Monday, and the changes will be voted on next month.

Under the changes proposed last month, the school board’s business office would create central treasuries for each school, with accounts for each extracurricular activity.

Groups would not be able to spend money on students unless it comes from the school’s central treasury, and all transactions would be recorded in a centralized chart of accounts.

Money raised from events such as bingo nights would have to be deposited in the group’s account as soon as possible.

Of the borough’s nine schools, only the high school has a central treasury that manages funds for extracurriculars associated with the school.

The changes were proposed as a reaction to last year’s Naugatuck High School football recruiting scandal.

In that incident, former coach Rob Plasky and the Naugatuck High School Football Alumni Association gave the guardian of two prospective transfer students more than $1,000 to help pay debts owed to Sacred Heart High School and enroll the teens in a summer football camp.

The football alumni association is the football program’s booster club, which raises money for equipment and other charitable endeavors.