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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Webster Central School District - Financial Condition (2018M-109)

Released: September 14, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board effectively managed the District’s finances by adopting realistic budgets and ensuring unrestricted fund balance remained within statutory limits.

Key Findings

  • District officials appropriated nearly $28 million of fund balance (approximately $5.5 million each year) in the 2013-14 through 2017-18 budgets as a financing source. However, $22 million (80 percent) was not used to fund operations.
  • Recalculated unrestricted fund balance exceeded the 4 percent statutory limit for 2012-13 and 2014-15 through 2016-17 ranging from 7.3 and 7.7 percent.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the District’s fund balance is in compliance with statutory limits and use surplus funds as a financing source to fund one-time expenditures and needed reserves or reduce real property taxes.
  • Develop and adopt budgets based on historical trends or other known factors.
  • Discontinue the practice of appropriating fund balance that is not needed or used to fund operations.

District officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the District’s response letter.

Background

The Webster Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Penfield and Webster in Monroe County and Ontario and Walworth in Wayne County.

A seven-member Board of Education (Board) is responsible for the general management and control of District financial and educational affairs. The Superintendent of Schools is the chief executive officer and is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for day-to-day management under the Board’s direction. The Assistant Superintendent for Business oversees business operations.

Quick Facts
Employees1,432
Enrollment8,391
2017-18 General Fund Appropriations$167.9 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2016 — April 19, 2018

We extended our audit scope period back to July 1, 2012 to review fund balance trends.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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