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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

East Meadow Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2015M-332)


Released: February 26, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2012 through August 31, 2015.

Background

The East Meadow Union Free School District is located in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County. The District, which operates nine schools with approximately 7,200 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year total approximately $195.8 million.

Key Findings

  • The District’s unrestricted fund balance exceeded statutory limits.
  • The District used only 22 percent of its appropriated fund balance during fiscal years 2012-13 through 2014-15.
  • The District overestimated expenditures by a total of approximately $29.4 million during the same three-year period.
  • The workers’ compensation reserve fund and the unemployment insurance reserve fund are overfunded.

Key Recommendations

  • Revise the District’s fund balance policy to ensure compliance with statutory requirements and use the surplus unrestricted fund balance in a manner that benefits District residents.
  • Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets that result in the appropriation of unrestricted fund balance that is not needed to fund operations.
  • Adopt budgets with realistic expenditure estimates.
  • Use excess reserve funds to benefits District residents, in accordance with statutory requirements.

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