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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Tupper Lake Central School District – Financial Condition (2014M-151)

Released: August 29, 2014 -- [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, 2011 through April 30, 2014.


The Tupper Lake Central School District is located in the Town of Tupper Lake in Franklin County and the Towns of Colton and Piercefield in St. Lawrence County. The District is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education and operates two schools with approximately 790 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year totaled approximately $17 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board adopted budgets for the general fund that were not structurally balanced because the Board routinely relied on significant amounts of appropriated fund balance to finance operations.
  • The Board did not adopt a policy establishing the level of unassigned fund balance that should be maintained to prepare for any unanticipated expenditures and/or revenue shortfalls.
  • The school food service fund was not self-sufficient and required subsidies from the general fund, which contributed to the general fund’s declining financial condition.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt general fund budgets that are structurally balanced, including realistic estimates for revenues and appropriations.
  • Develop and adopt a fund balance policy establishing the amount of unassigned fund balance to be maintained.
  • Continue to evaluate and explore ways to cut costs and increase revenues for the general fund and the school food service fund.

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