New Castle News

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December 31, 2013

Top 10 Stories, Number 2: District says parents repaying tuition

NEW CASTLE — Parents who had failed to pay tuition to the New Castle school district are paying it now in installments.

According to superintendent John J. Sarandrea, the three parents who had been subject of an audit finding last year are making payments under a settlement agreement the district entered with them.

Sarandrea said all three are district employees who had hired attorneys and have agreed to the settlement terms.

He would not say how much each parent is repaying to the district, nor would he say how much each is paying in monthly installments, claiming that is not public information.

“We received the first checks from each of them.”

The tuition issue came to light earlier this year when the state auditor general’s office made its final audit report public for period spanning Feb. 2, 2010, through Sept. 12, 2012.

The district had been made aware of three audit findings in the fall of 2012 but responded to only two of them. The third — regarding the tuition matter — was ignored.

The finding was that three district employees, who lived outside the district, were parents of seven students who had attended city schools but failed to pay tuition for them during the years cited in the audit.

The staff members are Jamie Lynn DeMase of Neshannock Township, a teacher at Harry W. Lockley Kindergarten Center; Dinia Kollar of Pulaski, a third-grade teacher at Thaddeus Stevens Primary Center; and Kelly Glies of Neshannock Township, a second-grade teacher at West Side Primary Center.

Although the audit report covered about a year and a half, upon discovering the matter, the state auditor general’s office looked at two other years as well. The finding showed the seven nonresident children of district employees had attended city schools for four years and tuition had not been paid for them.

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