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Smithtown schools seek fix to funding snafu

Smithtown school officials are trying to avoid losing $3 million in state construction aid.

District Superintendent Edward Ehmann said Wednesday the district could lose the funds because district officials missed deadlines for filing four reports on construction costs.

State Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) said he is working with state education and budget officials to resolve the problem. “I don’t think this is a situation where a school district [should] get a severe penalty,” he said.

Flanagan, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said missed deadlines for construction aid are “by no means isolated to the Smithtown School District.” He said he will propose legislation to help districts avoid losing aid in such situations.

Since 2000, Smithtown has successfully filed 77 requests for $43 million in state aid to help pay for $150 million worth of construction, including classrooms, roof replacements, security systems and other projects, Ehmann said.

He said the district hired auditors to “analyze the district’s controls and procedures to assure that future filings are done on a timely basis.”


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