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N.Y. State Audit Faults Handling Of $1 Million Consultant Contract

Mismanagement by the New York State education department resulted in payments to consultants for work never completed, according to an audit by the state comptroller.

The audit alleges poor oversight of a $1 million contract with a consultant to develop capital-needs assessments for the state's school districts.

The consultant was paid more than $350,000 to produce engineering and architectural surveys, conduct workshops, and prepare manuals, the audit states. Those tasks were not completed, it says.

The audit includes 14 recommendations to improve the department's oversight. In a letter included in the comptroller's report, Thomas E. Sheldon, the state's executive director of education, said the state agreed with the recommendations and would follow them.

Judge Denies Transfers

A federal judge in Ohio last week upheld a school district's decision to bar some of its students from enrolling in adjacent counties.

School officials in Springfield had objected to 190 of the 490 transfer requests filed under the state's open-enrollment program. Parents of those children argued that the district balked because the students' departure would decrease its per-pupil state aid.

In his support of the district's decision, the judge said the loss of the 190 students would shift the racial makeup of the city's 20 schools, according to Springfield officials. The state's open-enrollment law permits districts to deny transfers on the grounds of racial imbalance.

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