DARIEN, Conn. – The Darien Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance will hold a special session Thursday night to order an audit of the town’s special education budget after new allegations came to light about the program, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said Monday.
Private investigator Sue Gamm, who was hired by the Board of Education to study Darien’s program after a state investigation began last spring, sent notice of the issue to Stevenson and finance board chair Liz Mao Friday. In the letter she notified the town that “there may be errors in the reporting for special education expenses in submissions to the State of Connecticut for the Excess Cost Reimbursement Grant,” the town’s release said Monday.
If a district’s special education costs for a particular student are more than 4.5 times the district’s per-pupil average, the state reimburses the district for the remainder through the Special Education Excess Cost grant. Darien received nearly $2.2 million through the grant for the 2012-13 school year, according to budget documents.
Officials did not specify what Darien’s reporting errors might have been.
Stevenson and Mao have scheduled a special joint meeting of their two boards for Thursday at 8 p.m. at Darien Town Hall. The meeting will be to approve a special audit by McGladrey LLP, the town’s auditors, into the Darien Public Schools’ special education program.
“Liz Mao and I acknowledge the serious financial implications this new information may have for our town,” Stevenson said in a press release. “It’s our mutual desire to immediately engage our auditors to detail the existence and extent of any reporting errors and to keep the public well informed.”