Massapequa schools accused of overestimating expenses

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MASSAPEQUA -

The Massapequa School District is accused of overestimating its expenses by tens of millions of dollars.

An audit released by the state comptroller shows that the district has a surplus just shy of $25 million from fall 2013 through spring 2016. It reveals that teacher salaries, busing contracts and other expenses were overestimated.

Rose Stein, of Massapequa, attended Thursday night's school board meeting hoping to learn more about the report.

"I think those audit reports are lengthy and if you don't have a financial background, I think things can be a little muddy and hard to follow," she said.

Tina Cardali, also of Massapequa, took a close look at the audit that also showed that the district overfunded three of six of its reserve accounts.

"As an accountant…I think we need answers," she said.

Dianne Sheffield said she hopes to learn how the school district will use the money and is asking the school board to be more transparent in future budgets.

"You're taking money out of my pocket every year…saying that if you don't pass the budget…we're cutting programs," she said. "You're not using the money, and you're coming back next year asking for more. That's outrageous to me."

School board members and the superintendent were not available to comment on camera about the report, but the deputy superintendent said at the meeting that they found unplanned savings in the budget.

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