Board goes after missing textbooks

Published 11:27 pm Friday, October 10, 2008

Holding onto last year’s school books could turn expensive for you or your family if the Suffolk School Board follows through on a proposal to get a collections agency involved.

More than $85,000 worth of textbooks have been lost since the last school year, and the board decided Thursday to turn up the heat on those who have not returned their books.

The board plans to issue a request for proposals for a collections agency to recover the books or their replacement cost, Superintendent Milton Liverman said during the board meeting.

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The cost of lost or destroyed textbooks during the second semester of last school year added up to $197,962, said Terry Napier, assistant director of facilities and planning for Suffolk Public Schools. The system has recovered about $112,200 worth of books and costs by sending out letters to parents and teachers, Napier said. However, a balance of $85,769 remains.

Without a collections agency, the school board has no legal recourse, Liverman said.

School Board member Michael Debranski, who also is running for mayor, said he was pleased to recover more than half the money so far.

“I think this is a perfect example of us being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”