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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hempstead Union Free School District – Management of District Resources (2014M-253)


Released: December 29, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess internal controls over the management of District resources for the period July 1, 2011 through March 31, 2013.

Background

The Hempstead Union Free School District is located in the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County. The District, which is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education, operates 10 schools with approximately 6,000 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year were approximately $178.8 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board appointed and changed administrators and entered into and changed agreements with no documented plan, reason or clear benefit to the District.
  • The Board has not instituted procedures or scheduled sufficient meetings to ensure that all of its decisions and deliberations are performed in a transparent and public manner.
  • District officials did not ensure that all employees were qualified for their positions.
  • District officials did not ensure that students’ special education evaluations were performed properly.
  • The District did not appropriately limit user access to its Student Information System.

Key Recommendations

  • Make sound financial decisions that are in the best interest of the District when hiring and entering into agreements with administrators.
  • Consider scheduling additional Board meetings and discontinue the practice of calling special and emergency meetings unless an urgent condition occurs.
  • Develop comprehensive procedures to hire and retain the most qualified employees, including ensuring and documenting that employees meet the minimum education, experience and certification requirements for their positions.
  • For special education services, ensure that student evaluations are completed timely and that all required tests are performed during evaluation.
  • Review and revise user access to the Student Information System to ensure that users have access only to functions necessary to perform their responsibilities.

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