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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Carthage Central School District – Financial Condition (2014M-138)

Released: August 1, 2014 -- [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, 2012 through December 31, 2013.


The Carthage Central School District is located in the Towns of Champion, Le Ray, Rutland and Wilna in Jefferson County and the Towns of Croghan, Denmark and Diana in Lewis County. The District, which is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education, operates five schools with approximately 3,600 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year totaled approximately $55 million.

Key Findings

  • District officials have consistently overestimated expenditures and increased the tax levy.
  • The District ended the 2012-13 fiscal year with an unexpended surplus balance of almost $13 million, more than 23% of the following year’s appropriations.
  • The Board did not adopt written policies governing the establishment and use of reserve funds, and the balances in two of the funds are higher than necessary.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop and adopt budgets that include realistic estimates for appropriations and unexpended surplus funds.
  • Develop a plan for the use of excess unexpended surplus funds.
  • Develop a comprehensive policy for establishing and using reserve funds, assess current reserve levels and take action to reduce current levels to appropriate levels, if overfunded.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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