The Office of the New York State Comptroller has recently performed audits in school districts across the state, including here in Churchville-Chili. These audits are a follow-up to ones they completed in 2009 across New York. The Comptroller’s Office has now released their findings. During their time here, auditors performed a thorough examination of the District’s financial practices covering the period of July 1, 2012 – September 23, 2015. We take pride in knowing that, once again, no fraud, waste, or abuse was detected during this examination.
We take seriously our goal of “promoting cost effectiveness, and developing and managing a budget that provides a quality education in a fiscally responsible manner.” A commitment to long-range and responsible planning has allowed the District to sustain a consistently rigorous curriculum and a variety of extra-curricular opportunities amid state aid reductions, unfunded mandates, pension cost increases, and technology integration. The District has maintained an average levy increase of 1.93% and a tax rate decrease of 0.54% over the past nine years. As a matter of fact, Moody’s Investor Services has commended our budget practices in granting Churchville-Chili an Aa3 rating, in the top tiers of the rating system.
Over the years our District has not only financed the budget by appropriating fund balance and utilizing reserves which have kept the tax levy down, we have also financed significant capital projects through the use of a Capital Reserve Fund. This reserve alone has allowed us to present five phases of capital improvement projects to the community at no additional tax levy cost. The Board and Administration are very proud of this accomplishment. In addition, more recently, the Board and Administration have utilized the year end surplus to cover our local share of the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Capital Improvement Project. Had there not been surplus funds available, our District’s taxpayers would have paid the cost through a tax levy increase.
Two reserve funds were identified by the Comptroller’s Office as being potentially overfunded - the Unemployment Reserve Fund and the Workers Compensation Reserve. It is important to point out that both reserves were appropriately funded in accordance with General Municipal Law. However, based on recently adjusted NYS funding of State Aid, the Board and Administration have begun discussions around reallocation of these reserves in preparing the 2016-2017 budget as well as future budgets.
The Churchville-Chili Central School District appreciates the thorough effort of and communication with auditors from the Comptroller’s Office throughout the process.
The audit and our complete District Response can be obtained through the Business Office.