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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Copenhagen Central School District – Financial Condition (2016M-142)

Released: June 24, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015.


The Copenhagen Central School District is located in the Towns of Champion, Rutland and Watertown in Jefferson County and the Towns of Denmark, Harrisburg and Pinckney in Lewis County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 460 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. The District’s operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $10.5 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board overestimated appropriations in the adopted budgets by an average of about $947,000 or 9 percent over the past three years. As a result, $724,000 or almost 90 percent of the appropriated fund balance was not actually needed to finance operations, and unassigned fund balance was more than twice the statutory limit from fiscal years 2012-13 through 2014-15.
  • The Board has not developed multiyear operational or capital plans to address excess fund balance and future needs.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and the use of fund balance in the annual budget and ensure that the amount of the District’s unassigned fund balance is in compliance with statutory limits.
  • Formulate long-term multiyear operational and capital plans for the use of excess unassigned fund balance in the general fund in a manner that benefits District residents.

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