Student Attendance Policy to be Audited by State

NEWBURGH – The state Department of Education will conduct an audit into the Newburgh Enlarged City School District’s attendance policy.

“The objectives of this audit are to determine if internal controls are appropriately designed and operating effectively to ensure the adequacy and reliability of student attendance records and to determine if the credit recovery process is in compliance with New York State Regulations,” wrote in a May 3 letter to Superintendent Dr. Roberto Padilla from David Sears, director of the Office of Audit Services.

Elementary school teacher Richard Desiderio, who initially brought the student attendance to the state and Orange County District Attorney’s Office, was glad to see the education department will take a look at the issue.

“I am happy that it seems that everybody is invested in this and invested in our kids to make sure that they are getting the best possible education they can get,” Desiderio said. “That was always my goal.”

The review will be for the period of July 1, 2017 through April 30, 2019.

The audit comes on the heels of an Orange County grand jury report which was highly critical of the school district’s attendance practices where coaches fudged student athletes’ classroom attendance records in order for them to continue to play.

School officials did not respond to a request for comment about the Ed department’s announced audit.

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