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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Bradford Central School District – Financial Management (2016M-253)


Released: October 7, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District's financial management for the period July 1, 2012 through April 15, 2016.

Background

The Bradford Central School District is located in the Towns of Bath, Bradford, Urbana and Wayne in Steuben County and the Towns of Orange and Tyrone in Schuyler County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 275 students, is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $8.8 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board and District officials have not adopted realistic budgets or effectively managed fund balance and, despite the significant amount of accumulated fund balance, continued to raise the tax levy by an average of 2 percent each year or a total of $350,000 over the last three years.
  • When unused appropriated fund balance is added back, unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by amounts ranging from $1.4 million to $1.9 million or 12.8 to 17.5 percentage points.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure budgets include realistic appropriations based on actual needs and planned use of fund balance to avoid levying taxes at a level greater than needed.
  • Ensure that unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with the statutory limit and develop a plan to use excess fund balance in a manner that benefits District residents.

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