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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School Audits

July 11, 2017

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Buffalo City School District, Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District, Pavilion Central School District and the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District.

"In an era of limited resources and increased accountability, it’s critical that schools make every dollar count," DiNapoli said. "By auditing school district and charter school finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively."

Buffalo City School District – Special Education and Grant Administration (Erie County)

The district bills school districts based on nonresident tuition rates calculated by the New York State Department of Education, but the district’s actual costs are generally greater than the department’s rates. Auditors found the district could have received an additional reimbursement of more than $800,000 over the last two fiscal years from school districts of residence.

Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District – Financial Management (St. Lawrence County)

The board adopted budgets with estimated appropriations that exceeded actual expenditures by a total of $2.5 million over fiscal years 2013-14 through 2015-16, which resulted in appropriated fund balance not being used. During this period, the district reported unrestricted fund balance that ranged from 0.1 percent to 2.4 percent of the ensuing years appropriations, which is well within the statutory limit. However, when unused appropriated fund balance is added back to the reported unrestricted fund balance, the district’s recalculated unrestricted fund balance ranged from 7.9 to 11 percent.

Pavilion Central School District – Financial Management (Livingston County)

The board and district officials prepared budgets for the 2013-14 through the 2015-16 fiscal years that overestimated appropriations, producing operating surpluses totaling $2.1 million during these years. The reserve fund policy did not stipulate the maximum funding levels for each reserve, the conditions necessary for using reserves to finance related costs or the circumstances under which reserve funds will be replenished. Three of the district’s six reserves appear overfunded.

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District – Financial Management (Suffolk County)

The board has not adopted budgets with reasonable expenditure and fund balance appropriations. Auditors found the board appropriated fund balance and reserves that it did not actually need to fund operations. As a result, the district’s unassigned fund balance was nearly 11 percent of the ensuing year’s appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by almost seven percentage points.

For access to state and local government spending and 50,000 state contracts, visit OpenBookNY. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.