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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Schoharie Central School District – Financial Condition (2013M-263)


Released: December 13, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2011 through July 8, 2013.

Background

The Schoharie Central School District is located in portions of Schoharie, Albany, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises seven elected members. The District’s budgeted expenditures for the 2013-14 fiscal year are $21 million.

Key Finding

  • Although the Board adopted budgets with revenues that were realistic and supported, expenditures were consistently and significantly overestimated. As a result the District spent nearly $8 million less than budgeted over a five-year period. In addition, although the Board appropriated on average approximately $1.1 million of unexpended surplus funds each year –totaling more than $5.4 million over five years – to help finance the ensuing year’s operations, the District actually used only $676,000 of the fund balance during this period. Therefore, the District’s actual available fund balance at the close of fiscal year 2012-13 was $2.1 million, or 10 percent of the 2013-14 budget.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop and adopt budgets that include realistic estimates for expenditures based on contractual and historical data. Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets with the appropriation of unexpended surplus funds that will not be used.
  • Develop a plan to use surplus fund balance in a manner that benefits District taxpayers and provides appropriate transparency of the budget process with public disclosure.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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