State audit of Washingtonville school district challenged by district


ALBANY – A state comptroller’s
audit of the Washingtonville Central School District is critical of its
budgeting practices, but school officials dispute that.

The audit said the school board’s adopted budgets overestimated
appropriations in the 2012-13 through 2015-16 fiscal years, and appropriated
fund balance was not needed to fund the budget.

The report also said the district had significant operating surpluses
which caused the fund balance to exceed the statutory maximum.
Among the state’s recommendations were that the district adopt
budgets that represent the district’s actual needs and discontinue
the practice of adopting budgets that appropriate fund balance that will
not be used to fund operations.

It also said the district should develop a plan for the use of the excess
fund balance in a manner that benefits the district including funding
one-time expenditures; funding needed reserves; or reducing district property

In response, district officials said they do not believe the practice
of spending appropriated fund balance is a sound financial practice. “We
feel that if the appropriated fund balance is used it constitutes an unstable
practice of negative spending,” Superintendent of Schools Roy Reese
and School Board President William Santos wrote.


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