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N-W awaits audit report

by jmaloni
Thu, Sep 15th 2011 01:20 pm

by Susan Mikula Campbell

The Niagara-Wheatfield Board of Education is promising the public a long public meeting once the results of the district's independent audit are available.

Superintendent Carl Militello said this week that the results of the independent audit by Drescher & Malecki were not ready yet, but an announcement of a meeting would be made as soon as they are.

New board member Richard Halleen said he was awaiting the results of the audit.

"I still sit here tonight with no idea where we sit financially in this district," he said.

At the Sept. 7 Board of Education meeting, several people asked for reinstatement of some of the programs that were cut to save money for the current school year's budget.

"It's going to be a tough year," Militello said of the 2011-12 budget.

Richard Pytlik, indoor track coach, asked that his program be reinstated.

"We only had one year to show what we could do," he said of the program that started in the last school year and was used during the winter by many of the participants to stay in shape for other sports. He volunteered to coach for $1 in compensation. "I do not need to be paid to coach these athletes," he said.

His offer received applause from the audience.

Mark Gifford, who has a daughter in middle school and another in high school, asked about restoring funding for Odyssey of the Mind. The competitive academic program promotes things like critical and creative thinking and collaborative learning, he said.

Militello said he believes in the program "very strongly" and will certainly be looking at the volunteer process to possibly find people to run it.

One parent asked if outside funding could restore field trips. Militello said that there is no funding for field trips in the current budget, but if individual schools or groups can raise the money to pay for them, field trips are allowed.

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