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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Poughkeepsie City School District - Budgeting (2018M-226)

Released: November 15, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials adopted realistic budgets.

Key Findings

  • Appropriations were overestimated resulting in an operating surplus of $6.2 million in 2016-17.
  • District officials made excessive year-end budget transfers in 2016-17 and 2017-18 without Board Approval.
  • The District had unrestricted funds totaling $10.6 million and $12 million at the end of 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively, which exceeded the statutory limits of $3.9 million and $4 million.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets with reasonable revenue and appropriation estimates based on historical or other known trends.
  • Ensure that transfers with approvals are made to avoid overexpended line items.
  • Reduce the amount of unrestricted fund balance to comply with the statutory limit. Surplus funds can be used as a financing source for funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves, paying off debt and reducing District property taxes.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.

Background

The Poughkeepsie City School District (District) is located in the City of Poughkeepsie (City) in Dutchess County.

The District provides public education for the children who reside in the City limits. The District is governed by a Board of Education (Board) that is composed of five members, a President, Vice President and three additional Board members. The Board is responsible for the management and control of the District’s financial and educational affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the District’s chief executive officer and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the District.

The Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations (Assistant Superintendent) is directly responsible for managing the District’s financial activities, including the budget.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Budget$99,806,415
2017-18 Budget$96,747,054
Employees820
Enrollment4,700

Audit Period

July 1, 2016 – July 18, 2018. We extended our audit period back to July 1, 2013 to analyze budgeting.


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