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Comptroller report critical of Victor Central School District

In Victor, DiNapoli’s office says school food surplus fund balance has been near $800,000 for several years, about half of yearly expenditures.

DiNapoli says excess funds could have been used to lower student meal costs. However, despite being told by external auditors about excessive balances, the district allegedly raised meal prices each year.

The district is also accused of overfunding two general fund reserves and circumventing surplus fund balance statutory limits.

DiNapoli’s office provided recommendations for each district, including reviewing and funding reserve balances at reasonable levels.

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Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials adopted realistic budgets and effectively managed fund balance and reserves.

Key Findings

The Board and District officials:

  • Adopted conservative budgets that resulted in circumventing the statutory limit on surplus fund balance by making $2.4 million in unbudgeted year-end transfers to reserves and appropriating $1.6 million in fund balance that was not used.
  • Annually increased meal prices, despite repeated warnings from its external auditor that the school food service surplus fund balance was excessive.
  • Overfunded two general fund reserves with balances totaling more than $1.3 million as of June 30, 2018.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop and adopt budgets that include more realistic estimates for revenues and appropriations and the amount of fund balance and reserves that will be used to fund operations.
  • Develop a plan to continue reducing the school food service fund balance to a reasonable level.
  • Review and fund reserve balances to reasonable levels in accordance with applicable statutes.

District officials generally disagreed with our findings and recommendations. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the District’s response letter.

Background

The Victor Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Victor, East Bloomfield and Farmington in Ontario County, the Town of Perinton in Monroe County and the Town of Macedon in Wayne County.

The District is governed by an elected seven-member Board. The Superintendent of Schools is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for managing day-to-day operations under the Board’s direction. The Assistant Superintendent for Business is responsible for the administration and supervision of financial activities. The Board, Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Business are responsible for developing the budget.

The current Assistant Superintendent for Business began in February 2018.

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