State audit says Poughkeepsie schools had too much surplus money

POUGHKEEPSIE – A state audit of the Poughkeepsie City School District found that it had an operating surplus of $6.2 million in 2016-17.

The audit by the State Comptroller’s Office also found district officials made excessive year-end transfers in 2016-17 and 2017-18 without school board approval.

The report also found the district had unrestricted funds totaling $10.6 million and $12 million at the end of the 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively, which exceed the statutory limits of $3.9 million and $4 million.

The state audit recommended the district adopt budgets with “reasonable revenue and appropriation estimated based on historical or other known trends.

It also said the district should ensure that transfers with approvals are made to avoid overexpended line items.

The audit also said the district should reduce the amount of unrestricted fund balance to comply with the stator limit. “Surplus funds can be used as a financing resource for funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves, paying off debt and reducing district property taxes,” the audit stated.

District officials “generally agreed” with the recommendations and said they plan to initiate corrective action.

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