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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

East Ramapo Central School District - Nonpublic School Transportation (2019M-107)

Released: November 20, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the District is providing transportation to eligible nonpublic school students.

Key Findings

  • District officials did not have documentation that they were only paying for transportation for students that lived in the District. We requested documentation for 300 students. The documentation for 93 of these students was missing and we found deficiencies such as no proof of address for 54 of the 193 new students’ applications and no proof of birthdate for 15 students.
  • For 2017-18, the District paid 15 schools to use Yeshiva Private Contractors (YPCs) on a per-student basis to transport 717 (or $495,499) more students than were registered. For 2018-19, as of April 1, 2019, the District is paying 23 schools to transport 455 (or $337,085) more students than registered.

Key Recommendations

  • Obtain documentation to prove eligibility before providing transportation to nonpublic students.
  • Use the actual number of students, instead of estimates, to make payments for YPCs to transport students.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on an issue that was raised in the District’s response letter.

Background

The East Ramapo School District (District) is located in Rockland County. The Board of Education (Board) is responsible for managing District operations. The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the District’s day-to-day management and for developing and administrating the budget. The Board is responsible for providing transportation to eligible nonpublic students of the District in an economical manner.

The Department of Transportation (Department) processes transportation applications and issues student identification numbers. The District’s budgeted transportation expenditures for 2017-18 and 2018-19 were $30.5 million and $31.4 million, respectively.

Quick Facts
School Type and Enrollment
14 Public9,461
143 Nonpublica27,500
Transportation Payment Basis and Enrollment
Per-Hour
Public9,461
98 Nonpublic9,000
Per-Student
Public0
45 Nonpublic18,500
a The District transported students to 100 nonpublic schools located in the District and to 43 outside of the District.

Audit Period

July 1, 2017 – October 30, 2018. We extended our scope forward to April 30, 2019 to estimate transportation costs for 2018-19.


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