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

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School District Audits

August 2, 2019

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following school district audits have been issued.

Health Sciences Charter School – Student Enrollment and Billing (Erie County)

Auditors found billings were generally calculated accurately and properly supported, but the school relied on staff at its accounting firm to calculate tuition. School officials provide the accounting firm with attendance and enrollment records but do not adequately review the tuition bills to ensure the correct school district is being billed or that tuition charges have been calculated correctly. As a result, the school did not correctly calculate state aid attributable to students receiving special education services.

Lakeland Central School District – Reserves Management (Westchester County)

As of March 31, 2019, the school district reported four general fund reserves with balances totaling $39,891,644. Auditors compared the balances for each reserve to its historical expenditures and planned use and found three of them (capital, retirement and employee benefits) to be reasonably funded. However, based on the highest rate at which the school district has paid out tax certiorari settlements for the past five fiscal years, auditors found the tax certiorari reserve balance of $6,211,404 was sufficient to cover at least eight years of potential claims. As a result, funds may be tied up in the reserve that could be applied to other school district needs.

Watkins Glen Central School District – Financial Management (Schuyler County)

The school board adopted budgets that conservatively estimated revenues and appropriations over the last three fiscal years, which resulted in unplanned operating surpluses totaling $2.3 million instead of planned deficits. In the last three completed fiscal years, the school district generated $2.3 million in unplanned operating surpluses instead of $1.4 million in planned deficits. Over the past three completed fiscal years, the school district reported surplus fund balance that ranged from 3.9 percent to 4 percent of the ensuing year’s appropriations, which is within the 4 percent limit allowed. However, when unused appropriated fund balance is added back, surplus fund balance exceeds the statutory limit.