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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Phoenix Central School District – Financial Condition (2017M-96)

Released: August 4, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether the Board and District officials effectively managed the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2015 through February 28, 2017.


The Phoenix Central School District is located in the Towns of Granby, Hastings, Palermo, Schroeppel and Volney in Oswego County and the Towns of Clay and Lysander in Onondaga County. The District has approximately 1,810 students. General fund budgeted appropriations for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled approximately $44.8 million.

Key Findings

  • Unrestricted fund balance as a percentage of the next year’s appropriations exceeded the statutory limit by 4.2 to 8.1 percentage points for fiscal years 2013-14 through 2015-16.
  • Adopted budgets from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016 overestimated appropriations by nearly $6 million, and reserves were not funded in a transparent manner because the Board funded them at year-end with surplus funds.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a plan to reduce the amount of unrestricted fund balance to the legal limit.
  • Adopt realistic budget estimates and inform residents of District officials’ intent to fund reserves.

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