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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Niagara Wheatfield Central School District – Financial Condition (2014M-364)


Released: April 10, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2011 through September 2, 2014.

Background

The Niagara Wheatfield Central School District is located in the Towns of Wheatfield, Niagara, Lewiston and Cambria, in Niagara County. The District, which is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education, operates six schools, with approximately 4,200 students. The District’s budgeted appropriations for the 2014-15 fiscal year total approximately $64.6 million.

Key Findings

  • The District has needed to borrow several million dollars throughout the audit period for cash flow purposes.
  • As of June 4, 2014, the State owed the District $6.6 million in aid for costs associated with operating the Tuscarora Indian School, and there is at least an 18-month lag before the District receives reimbursements from the State.
  • The District reported $3.4 million in the debt service fund as of June 30, 2014 but used general fund resources totaling $7.7 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year to pay for principal and interest costs on outstanding debt.

Key Recommendations

  • Closely monitor operating results and fund balances to ensure that the District has adequate cash flows.
  • Actively work with the State Education Department to ensure that State aid is paid in a timely manner.
  • Consider using the available cash resources in the debt service fund to pay for appropriate debt service costs.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236