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Jun 11, 2011 5:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Audit Criticizes Bridgehampton School's Collection Of Tuition Fees

Jun 15, 2011 10:36 AM

An audit released Friday by the state comptroller’s office shows that the Bridgehampton School District undercharged tuition for nonresident students at times over two fiscal years.

The report on the audit, which covered the period of July 1, 2009, to October 31, 2010, states that the district charged $111,650 less in tuition fees than it should have over that time. The report states that, for those 16 months, the district should have collected a total of $256,225 in tuition payments from students who do not live within the school district’s boundaries, not the $144,575 that it attempted to collect.

Bridgehampton School Superintendent Lois Favre, Ed.D. stressed this week that the district was not required to collect the approximately $111,000 in tuition, and that the only mistake it made was not recording those decisions in School Board resolutions. She also emphasized that she was not superintendent of the district when that occurred.

“The district’s only failure was not getting the decisions into the board for resolutions as a matter of course,” Dr. Favre stated in an e-mail. “There were no issues cited that there was any failure on the part of district, except the board resolutions, and this was simply an opportunity for revenue—not any mismanagement of funds.”

Dr. Favre explained that the district’s decision not to collect the $111,650 stems from two specific cases, which are also highlighted and addressed in the audit. She said the district could have collected an additional $108,500 from a special education student who was billed at a regular education rate because the student did not require intensive special education services. The audit notes this and Dr. Favre explained in a letter responding to the audit that the student needed only a special location for testing and some resource room support. She said those services were available to all 150 children attending the school district.

“Since there was no extra special education support needed for the student, it seemed that the general education rate (rather than the egregious special education cost) was more appropriate for this particular student,” Dr. Favre wrote in the letter.

The remaining $3,150, she said, represents the amount the district could have charged a student who moved out of the district after completing three quarters of the school year. The audit addresses that specific instance, noting that the district’s current policy allows tuition to be waived only if a student moves out of the district while attending grades 11 or 12. “The fact that revenues were lessened due to the student leaving should have been documented in a resolution,” Dr. Favre said.

Additionally, the report states that, to date, the district has received only $100,525 in tuition fees for the time period examined by the audit, meaning that it still needs to collect $42,800. The remaining $1,250, the audit states, is considered “lost revenue” because the parents of the student still owed a balance for the 2009-10 school year. In the letter attached to the audit, Dr. Favre said the district is still collecting the money it is owed from the parents of that student.

“The balance on that account is $206.25, and we have every indication from the parent that it will be submitted,” Dr. Favre stated in the letter.

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the irony of the state auditing anyone and offering fiscal advisement is not lost on me. the previous ny state comptroller is currently serving time in ulster state correctional facility and will be due for a release next year at age 73. The disgraced former state official pled guilty to a felony charge of receiving reward for official misconduct, a felony, for receiving nearly $1 million in gifts in exchange for improperly favoring and approving $250 million in pension fund investments in private ...more
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Jun 12, 11 6:21 AM
The currently pending catastrophe is the only thing the NY State Comptroller should be focused on, actually...the falsifying of their own reports to fake the positive health of the public pension funds. in reality is was all a criminal effort that falsified records so the rank and file employees would continue to work year in and year out whilst thinking that their pensions were in tact.

Every year, New York State issues a report that depicts its pension fund at the peak of health — ...more
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Jun 12, 11 6:33 AM