Hawthorne Cedar Knolls Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2023M-4)

Issued Date
June 09, 2023

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Hawthorne Cedar Knolls Union Free School District’s (District’s) Board of Education (Board) and officials effectively managed the District’s financial condition.

Key Findings

The Board and officials did not effectively manage the District’s financial condition. As a result, the District had a deficit general fund balance in each of the last five fiscal years, averaging more than $2.9 million each year. This contributed to the District’s overall cash position, which decreased by 71 percent. The largest deficit occurred in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which totaled more than $5.1 million.

Although a multiyear financial plan would provide more transparency regarding the District’s long-term financial goals and help guide the Board and officials as they develop District budgets, they did not develop a multiyear financial plan for the District.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a plan to address the fund balance deficit.
  • Monitor revenues, expenditures, enrollment and cash flow, and amend the budget as necessary.
  • Develop and adopt a multiyear financial plan.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and have initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.