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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Cleveland Hill Union Free School District – Financial Management (2017M-235)

Released: March 2, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial management practices for the period July 1, 2013 through July 12, 2017.


The Cleveland Hill Union Free School District is located in the Town of Cheektowaga in Erie County. The District, which operates three schools with approximately 1,250 students, is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education. General fund budgeted appropriations for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled approximately $31 million.

Key Findings

  • Officials overestimated appropriations each year by an average of $3.7 million, and they appropriated fund balance averaging $3.1 million annually to help finance budgeted appropriations.
  • Budgeting practices resulted in the District’s unrestricted fund balance exceeding the 4 percent statutory limit by 13 to 16 percentage points.
  • Four reserves totaling approximately $1.6 million were overfunded.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and the use of fund balance in the annual budget.
  • Ensure that unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with the statutory limit and develop a plan to use excess funds in a manner that benefits District residents.
  • Transfer any excess reserve funds to unrestricted fund balance (where allowed by law) or to other reserves established and maintained in compliance with applicable statutes.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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