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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Kiryas Joel Union Free School District – Financial Condition and Selected Employee Reimbursements (2016M-331)

Released: March 3, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District's financial condition and selected employee reimbursement payments for the period July 1, 2014 through March 16, 2016.


The Kiryas Joel Union Free School District is located in the Village of Kiryas Joel, Orange County. The District, which is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education, operates one school with approximately 200 special needs students and provides transportation, health and welfare services and textbooks to approximately 11,400 resident students attending nonpublic schools. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year total approximately $23 million.

Key Findings

  • For fiscal years 2011-12 through 2015-16, the Board adopted budgets that resulted in operating surpluses each year ranging from $216,000 to $2.6 million.
  • The Board did not establish adequate reserve fund policies.
  • The District reimbursed three employees $15,000 for the use of personal vehicles to commute from home to work, which was not provided for in a written agreement.
  • The District reimbursed an ineligible employee for $4,726 in daycare expenses.

Key Recommendations

  • Use surplus fund balance as a financing source for funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves or reducing property taxes.
  • Establish reserve fund policies to ensure reserves are used properly and amounts reserved are justified, necessary and reasonable.
  • Ensure that vehicle allowances do not include nondeductible personal commuting expenses unless stipulated by agreement.
  • Ensure that all employees receiving dependent care reimbursements are eligible to receive payments.

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