Policy change would track extracurricular funds

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Tuttle-BuildingNAUGATUCK — The Board of Education is considering a modification to its policy for outside activity funds that would require all transactions to be centrally recorded and overseen.

“Because of our problems with the spending of money and the tracking of money, this is something we’ll have to deal with,” Chairman David Heller said.

The board’s policy committee met early in July to consider the changes, which first came about as a result of last year’s football recruiting scandal.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference fined Naugatuck High School $7,500 last year after then-Coach Rob Plasky and booster club president Frank Johnson Jr. gave more than $1,000 to the guardian of two prospective transfers from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury. The money came from the Naugatuck High School Football Alumni Association, which raises money for the school’s football program.

Of the borough’s nine schools, only the high school has a central treasury that manages funds for extracurricular activities associated with the school. Until last year’s scandal, the football booster club operated independently of the central treasury.

If the policy is approved, the school board’s business office will begin work over the summer to create similar treasuries in each school, with accounts for each extracurricular activity, Business Manager Robert Butler said.

Groups would not be able to spend money on students unless it comes from the school’s central treasury, Butler said. All transactions would be recorded in a centralized chart of accounts, according to the proposed revisions.

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

The association also works with the borough’s Pop Warner football program and other charitable causes. School administrators said they had not determined whether money raised for such programs and causes would have to go through the central treasury. 

The board will vote on the proposed revisions at its next meeting, Superintendent of Schools John Tindall-Gibson said.

Phil Zembruski, a member of the Parent School Council, said he was upset that parent groups were not consulted on the proposed change.

“You’re not bringing in the people that this affects,” Zembruski said.