New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Central Valley School District, Harpursville Central School District, Southold Union Free School District and the Webster Central School District.
"In an era of limited resources and increased accountability, it's critical that schools make every dollar count," DiNapoli said. "By auditing school district and charter school finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively."
Auditors identified 37 eligible employees who received separation payments totaling $516,017 during the audit period. Except for minor discrepancies which were discussed with district officials, separation payments were accurately paid.
From 2013-14 through 2015-16, the district used $3.2 million more fund balance and reserves than planned. This reduced total fund balance by $4.8 million (52 percent). Although district officials have stabilized costs and improved budgeting, continued reliance on fund balance to fund operations increases the risk of future deficits and financial condition problems.
Auditors discovered errors in accrual records for 70 percent of the employees tested, confirming that the district's control system is not working properly. Records reviewed contained 16 errors resulting in leave balances being overstated by a total of 9.5 days valued at $3,623.
District officials appropriated nearly $28 million of fund balance in the 2013-14 through 2017-18 budgets, however, $22 million was not used to fund operations. As a result, recalculated unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit during this time period ranging from 3.3 to 3.7 percentage points.
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