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School Board Hears CPA Explain $3.6 million Debt for 2013-14

The Belleville school board and a crowd of more than 300 heard a CPA explain why the district is in a $3.6 million hole, at last night's Board of Education meeting held in Connie Francis Theatre auditorium at Belleville high school, 100 Passaic Ave.

The CPA spoke as part of a state-appointed school monitor looking into financial issues for the district, according to officials

Certified public accountant Jeremy Bliss said the deficit for the 2014-2014 school years is at least $3.6 million, officials said. Bliss was brought aboard by state-appointed monitor Thomas Egan.

The school board met in mid-May with Thomas Egan, the state monitor appointed to deal with financial matters, officials said.

At a special meeting earlier in June, Egan said he was still gathering information, but invited residents back to attend the last night's meeting to hear more information about finances, according to school officials.

The state Department of Education chose Egan to stay up on Belleville's financial practices, after education officials expressed concerns about problems with how money is being handled, school officials said.

Belleville is among eight state school districts dealing with a state-appointed monitor officials said.

Officials said the state requires the Belleville district fix the financial questions with a corrective action plan, a process going from now until next May, with Egan's help.

The Board of Education's schedule will slow down after Thursday's 2014 Commencement exercises, officials said.

The graduation ceremony is scheduled for about 7 p.m. on June 25 at Belleville Municipal Stadium.