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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2015M-147)


Released: September 25, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014.

Background

The Port Chester-Rye Union Free Central School District is located in the Village of Port Chester and part of the Village of Rye Brook, Westchester County. The District, which operates six schools with approximately 4,500 students, is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2014-15 fiscal year were approximately $88.4 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board overestimated expenditures in its budgets, and none of the fund balance that was appropriated was used in four of the five fiscal years.
  • Although the District maintains a retirement contribution reserve, it budgeted for retirement costs in the general fund and levied taxes to fund them.
  • The District’s reserves were funded by transfers of surplus funds at year-end rather than through appropriations in budgets voted on by taxpayers.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets with realistic estimates of anticipated expenditures that do not appropriate fund balance that is not needed to fund operations.
  • Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets that levy taxes to pay for costs that could reasonably be paid for using existing reserve funds.
  • Include planned transfers to reserves as appropriations in the budget for transparency.

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