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East Side School Accused Of Billing The State For Improper, Outrageous Expenses

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Allegations have been made against a private school that teaches children with special needs.

Many public school students get reimbursed to go the Churchill School, but according to a new report the school billed the state for money that it didn’t deserve.

Molly Phillip and her father told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan that the East 29th Street school has helped her tremendously.

“I really, really like my school a lot better than my old school,” she said, “Because my at old school it was a lot harder to learn.”

The state comptroller’s office said that the school bilked the state for more than $3-million in improper and outrageous expenses including $376,000 in excessive executive compensation, $439,000 in food, parties, and gifts, $10,000 in alcohol, and $1,750 for two employees who traveled with students on a surfing trip to Puerto Rico.

Tuition at the school is in upwards of $45,000 a year, but the vast majority of parents are reimbursed for the education with public money.

The K-12 school provides special education for nearly 400 students with learning disabilities, many of whom can’t get the help in public schools which include some of the city’s wealthy and elite.

In a statement the school said that, “We worked in good faith with the state throughout its audit,” and, “Churchill does not attempt to take advantage of state reimbursements for this measure of expenses.”

The comptroller said that it is working with the education department to recover the over payments.

The state education department said that it has already started to take action recommended in the state audit.

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