Determine whether the Wilson Central School District (District) Board of Education (Board) and District officials properly managed fund balance and reserves.
The Board and District officials did not properly manage fund balance and reserves. As of June 30, 2021:
- The recalculated surplus fund balance was $3.3 million, which exceeds the 4 percent statutory limit by 8 percentage points.
- District officials improperly restricted more than $1.6 million in the debt reserve fund.
- Workers’ compensation reserves fund balance of $836,000 can fund the average workers’ compensation expenditures for 26 years.
- Unemployment reserve balance of about $400,000 is nearly 200 times the average unemployment expenditure. By maintaining surplus funds in excess of the statutory limit and maintaining excess reserves, real property taxes may have been higher than necessary. In addition, the Board did not adopt a comprehensive written multiyear financial plan.
- Reduce surplus fund balance to comply with the statutory limit and use the excess funds in a manner more beneficial to taxpayers.
- Return funds inappropriately restricted in the debt reserve to general fund unrestricted fund balance.
- Adopt a comprehensive written multiyear financial plan.
District officials generally agreed with our findings and recommendations and plan to implement and/or have already implemented corrective action.