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May 8, 2008

DiNapoli: Roosevelt UFSD Could Post Operating Surplus

District Eyes $4.8 Million Surplus from Added State Aid, Fiscal Discipline

The Roosevelt Union Free School District in Nassau County, New York, is on track to post a surplus in its adopted 2007-08 general fund budget of up to $4.8 million due to improved fiscal discipline. Combined with $14 million of extra aid the State Legislature has provided, the district will wipe out its accumulated deficit and have a fund balance of up to $9 million, according to a report State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released today.

“Roosevelt is making steady progress,” DiNapoli said. “Improved fiscal restraint and additional aid have the district on course to see a surplus that will provide greater flexibility and options for educational improvements. But there are still challenges. Our presence has made a difference, and Superintendent Harris has asked us to continue the real-time monitoring our office initiated last year. We want to make sure the district remains on the right track, and that taxpayers are kept informed of the latest developments.”

Roosevelt Superintendent Robert-Wayne Harris said: “The presence of the Office of the State Comptroller in our district, initiating real-time fiscal monitoring has been invaluable to me as a new superintendent. As a result of their presence, the Board of Education and district staff have been able to institute a system of checks and balances in order to ensure that our district spending is in compliance with the constraints of our budgeted appropriations. Although we are extremely enthusiastic about the findings of our most recent audit report, we remain cognizant of the challenges that we continue to face in our efforts to provide a fiscally stable environment for our school district and taxpayers.”

DiNapoli deployed a real-time financial monitoring team to the district in June 2007 to ensure compliance with its budget for fiscal year 2007-08. Today’s report covers the third quarter of the district’s fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The DiNapoli report attributes the potential surplus to about $16.4 million of additional State aid, an additional $850,000 of other revenues, and a $1.6 million reduction of planned spending. The expected $18.8 million would be offset by an existing general fund deficit of $7.9 million and about $2 million of added spending to improve educational services, leaving the district with a roughly $9 million cash balance at the close of its fiscal year.

In addition to the findings, DiNapoli recommended that the district:

  • Maintain its rate of spending and not commit resources to non-budget items;
  • Continue its close review of revenue expected from Federal sources and determine whether those dollars will materialize as expected;
  • Continue to monitor special education costs, which can increase unexpectedly;
  • Correct the structural imbalance in the school lunch fund budget, and submit the revised fund plan to the district board for review and approval; and,
  • Review the costs and revenues of the lunch program and develop a plan to help the program keep pace with demand.

Click here for a copy of the report.



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