The Office of the New York State Comptroller released its Financial Condition Management report for the Little Falls City School District last week.

The objective of the audit was to determine whether the Board and District officials effectively managed the financial condition of the District.

Key findings of the report were as follows:

  • For the last three completed fiscal years (2015-16 through 2017-18) surplus fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by $1.15 to $1.83 million or 5.3 to 8.5 percentage points.
  • The District has generated operating surpluses totaling approximately $1.5 million over the last three fiscal years. Although total budget variances were generally reasonable, District officials failed to use surplus funds in a manner that benefits the taxpayers and reduces the surplus fund balance.
  • District officials have not developed a comprehensive multiyear financial plan.

Key recommendations from the report were as follows:

  • Reduce the surplus fund balance to within the statutory limit and use the surplus funds to finance one-time expenditures or needed reserves, pay off debt or reduce property taxes.
  • Develop a comprehensive multiyear financial plan.

District officials agreed with the comptroller recommendations and have initiated or indicated that they planned to initiate corrective action.

The Little Falls City School District (District) serves the City of Little Falls and the Towns of Danube, Fairfield, Herkimer, Little Falls, Manheim and Stark in Herkimer County. The District is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education (Board) responsible for general management and control of financial affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the chief executive officer and responsible, along with other administrative staff, for day-to-day management, budget development, and administration. The Director of Business Operations is responsible for District business activities.

Quick Facts about the Little Falls School District:

  • Enrollment 1,098
  • 2017-18 Appropriations $21.4 million

The audit period ran from July 1, 2017 – October 31, 2018. The comptroller’s office extended their audit period back to July 1, 2015, to review fund balance and budgeting trends, for the last three completed fiscal years.

The full report is included below.