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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Chittenango Central School District – Financial Management (2016M-294)

Released: December 30, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s management of financial activities for the period July 1, 2014 through February 29, 2016.


The Chittenango Central School District is located in the Towns of Cazenovia, Lenox, Lincoln and Sullivan in Madison County, and the Towns of Cicero and Manlius in Onondaga County. The District, which operates four schools with approximately 1,920 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. Budgeted general fund appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year were approximately $37 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.
  • District officials were unable to demonstrate why $4.2 million in fund balance should be restricted in the debt service fund.
  • The Board and District official have not established a formal plan defining how and when the majority of the reserves will be utilized.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and the use of fund balance in the annual budgets and review all reserves and determine if the amounts reserved are necessary, reasonable and in compliance with statutory requirements.
  • Return money improperly residing in the debt service fund to the general fund.
  • Develop comprehensive policies related to the establishment and use of reserve funds.

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