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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Fredonia Central School District - Financial Management (2018M-33)

Released: June 8, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials properly managed fund balance.

Key Findings

  • The Board overestimated appropriations by more than $5.7 million over a three-year period (6.75 percent), resulting in annual operating surpluses and a fund balance increase of more than $2 million (52 percent).
  • As of June 30, 2017, unrestricted fund balance totaled more than $3.3 million and was 11 percent of the 2017-18 budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by more than $2.1 million, or 7 percentage points.
  • Despite the significant amount of accumulated fund balance, the Board annually increased the tax levy and did not take steps to reasonably fund reserves.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets using realistic estimates for appropriations and the amount of fund balance to be used to fund operations.
  • Reduce unrestricted fund balance to within the statutory limit and use the excess funds in a manner more beneficial to residents.

District officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they planned to initiate some corrective action.


The Fredonia Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Arkwright, Dunkirk, Pomfret, Portland and Sheridan in Chautauqua County.

The District is governed by its elected seven-member Board of Education (Board). The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the chief executive officer and is responsible for day-to-day management under the Board’s direction. The Board, Superintendent and Business Administrator (Administrator) are responsible for developing the annual budget. The Administrator is also responsible for the administration and supervision of its financial activities.

Quick Facts
Enrollment 1,455
Number of Schools 3
2017-18 Budget $32 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2014 – November 28, 2017

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