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MHSA investigates possible Manhattan High Title IX violations

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:00:04 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 13 2013 12:46:30 AM MST
manhattan school board meeting
MANHATTAN, Mont. -

People packed the room at the Manhattan School Board meeting Tuesday night, wanting to know what's going on with a financial audit investigation.

An unnamed source revealed to the superintendent that there may be a mishandling of funds regarding a football fundraiser involving head coach Dale McQueary.  The school district then began an investigation, and the findings were released in late October.

The report summarizes a mismanagement of funds, saying McQueary failed to deposit more than $8,000 back in 2011, and there are still a few hundred dollars unaccounted for.

We were there as parents waited for the action item to be discussed. They wanted to know who the coaches answer to. They also asked if funds for the football team were being mismanaged for years, why was it not noticed sooner.

Manhattan Public Schools Superintendent Jim Notaro revealed during the meeting that the MHSA is now involved. He told the crowd that Tuesday afternoon they received a letter. The letter discussed possible Title IX violations and asked for a corrective action plan by November 25. The plan is intended to show the MHSA that the school is capable of preventing future violations.

Notaro discussed a few items from the letter.

"It talks about Title IX, what they believe are Title IX problems, they talk about coaching salaries, they talk about meals, about equipment and about fundraising activities outside the regular school. Because if we don't present an action plan that suits them, then I think they could come down on us even harder, I believe, I could be wrong on that," said Notaro.

Notaro also wanted to clear up a few things at Tuesday night's meeting -- one of them being that this issue did not come out of the blue and this year's audit was not the first to show financial irregularities.

"I think some people think this things just popped up and that we are just trying to make trouble for somebody. No, they have been telling us for two years to start looking specifically, and making changes to extra curricular fundraising, and how we account for money whether it be in the concession stand, whether its in the honor society, whether its in football and frankly whether its in PTO," said Notaro.

The auditor was at the meeting and told board members they will have a complete report of their findings by December. Notaro says they will continue to handle the financial mismanagement investigation internally.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for December 10.