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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2016M-402)


Released: January 27, 2017 -- [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 May 31, 2016.

Background

The Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District is located in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County. The District, which operates five schools with approximately 3,000 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $113.6 million.

Key Findings

  • The District’s budgeted appropriations were overestimated by $31.1 million (10.4 percent) from 2012-13 through 2014-15.
  • Because the Board overestimated expenditures over the three-year period, the appropriated fund balance totaling $9.6 million was not used, resulting in the District’s unrestricted fund balance exceeding the statutory limit.
  • The Board overfunded six of the District’s reserve funds by almost $30.5 million and did not have documentation establishing two reserves.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt general fund budgets that include realistic estimates for appropriations.
  • Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets that result in the appropriation of unrestricted fund balance that is not needed to fund District operations.
  • Ensure reserve funds are financed in accordance with District standards and use any excess funds identified to benefit 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