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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Baldwinsville Central School District – Financial Management (2016M-65)


Released: June 17, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial management practices for the period July 1, 2014 through October 31, 2015.

Background

The Baldwinsville Central School District is located in the Towns of Clay, Lysander and Van Buren in Onondaga County. The District, which operates eight schools with approximately 5,500 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. The District’s operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $99 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board and District officials did not develop reasonable budgets or effectively manage the District’s financial condition to ensure that the general fund’s unrestricted fund balance was within the statutory limit.
  • The retirement contribution, liability, employee benefit accrued liability and unemployment reserves, totaling approximately $18 million, appear to be overfunded or unwarranted.
  • The District does not have a multiyear financial plan.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop procedures to adopt more realistic budgets that avoid raising more real property taxes than necessary and ensure that the amount of the District’s unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with the Real Property Tax Law statutory limit. Amounts in excess should be used in a manner that benefits District taxpayers.
  • Ensure that reserve fund balances are maintained at reasonable levels and take appropriate action, in accordance with statute, to remedy reserves with excess funds and update the District’s fund balance management plan to clearly communicate the optimal or targeted funding levels and conditions under which each reserve fund’s assets will be used, replenished and discontinued in accordance with legal requirements.
  • Develop and adopt a multiyear financial plan for a three- to five- year period that addresses the District’s use of reserves and any economic or environmental factors.

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