Montgomery school board requests plan to address Rock Terrace funds -- Gazette.Net



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This story was updated at 10:30 a.m., Dec. 18.

The Montgomery County Board of Education has asked Superintendent Joshua P. Starr to come up with recommendations or a proposed plan to address funds that were withdrawn from Rock Terrace School student bank accounts, according to a Dec. 9 letter to a school parent from the county school system’s chief operating officer Larry Bowers.

The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office is currently investigating how Rock Terrace staff handled money students earned while in a work-study program that went into bank accounts at the Education Systems Federal Credit Union.

Montgomery County Public Schools and the state’s attorney’s office began investigating the Rockville school after parents raised allegations that staff misappropriated funds their children earned.

The school serves developmentally disabled students.

Bowers said in the letter that he expects Starr will report back to the school board with his recommendations within the next month.

Board members also recently discussed “potential litigation … regarding ongoing investigations, operation, and legal implications of school vocational transition programs,” according to a school system report on a Nov. 12 closed session.

In the Dec. 9 letter, the board has also asked Starr to explain the school’s work programs and provide “information on the status of the funds deposited into and withdrawn from student banks accounts set up in connection with work experience programs,” according to the letter.

“In our oversight role as a Board we are trying to be as thorough as possible,” board member Rebecca Smondrowski said in an email.

At least two parents of Rock Terrace School students have received notification from the county State’s Attorney’s Office that records from bank accounts under their children’s names have been subpoenaed for a grand jury investigation.

lpowers@gazette.net