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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Lancaster Central School District – Financial Condition (2016M-101)


Released: July 15, 2016 -- [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, 2012 through December 8, 2015.

Background

The Lancaster Central School District (District) is located in the Towns of Lancaster, Cheektowaga and Elma in Erie County. The District, which operates seven schools with approximately 5,700 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $100 million.

Key Findings

  • During the 2012-13 through 2014-15 fiscal years, the Board adopted budgets that included the use of fund balance and reserves to finance operations.
  • District officials have not developed a plan to ensure that debt reserve funds are used for related debt obligations.
  • The written policy for reserves does not address how the suitable balance for each of the reserves will be determined or when these funds will be used or replenished.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and the use of fund balance and reserves in the annual budget.
  • Ensure the debt reserve is used to pay related debt as required.
  • Update the existing reserve policy by indicating the amount of funds to be reserved, how each reserve will be funded and when the balances will be used and replenished to finance related costs.

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