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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Buffalo City School District - Charter School Tuition Billing (2019M-122)

Released: August 23, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether District officials ensured that charter school tuition billing for Public Excess Cost Aid (PECA) was accurate.

Key Findings

  • District officials did not ensure the proper formula to calculate PECA set-aside amounts was used. As a result, the District overpaid for charter school tuition by $1 million (18 percent of PECA set-aside) in 2017-18. After discussing it with us, District officials took corrective action to avoid a potential $1.7 million overpayment in 2018-19.
  • The Board and District officials did not adopt written policies or procedures for charter school tuition billing.

Key Recommendations

  • Annually review the New York State Education Department (SED) State aid handbook for the updated formula and rates to determine PECA set-aside amounts for charter school tuition billing.
  • Develop and adopt written policies and procedures for charter school tuition billing.

District officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated that they have initiated, or planned to initiate, corrective action.


The Buffalo City School District (District) is located in the City of Buffalo in Erie County. The District is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education (Board). The Board is responsible for the general oversight of District operations. The Superintendent of Schools is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for managing day-to-day operations under the Board’s direction.

The District’s Chief Fiscal Officer (CFO), along with the Deputy CFO, a senior budget examiner and a management analyst, are responsible for reviewing charter school tuition invoices for accuracy.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Appropriations$916.4 million
2018-19 Enrollment31,000
2018-19 Charter School Tuition Disbursements$125.5 million
2018-19 PECA Set-Aside$5.3 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2017 – June 4, 2019

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