Determine whether the Worcester Central School District (District) Board of Education (Board) and officials effectively managed fund balance.
The Board and District officials did not effectively manage the District’s fund balance.
- The Board annually overestimated appropriations from 2016-17 through 2020-21 by an average of $943,000, or 8 percent.
- District officials budgeted for operating deficits totaling $4.7 million from 2016-17 through 2020-21, but experienced net operating surpluses totaling $1.2 million, an operational shift of $5.9 million.
- The District’s surplus fund balance exceeded the 4 percent statutory limit in each of the last five fiscal years by $490,000 to $1.8 million, or 4.3 to 15.7 percentage points.
- Real property tax levies were higher than necessary, in part, because surplus fund balance in excess of the statutory limit was maintained.
- Use reasonable estimates when developing the budget.
- Comply with the statutory fund balance limit.
District officials generally agreed with our findings and recommendations and indicated they will take corrective action.