State Audit Says Dryden School District Has Too Much Ca$h in Reserves
An audit by the State Comptroller’s Office has found that Dryden Central School District’s has too much money in reserve, the report is critical of the districts budgeting practices.
Following an audit of the Homer School District that was also critical of the districts fund balance the Comptrollers office has now released a similar review of the Dryden School District.
The report, says that from 2008 to 2013, the district has exceeded its surplus fund balance allowed by an average of $1.6 million, or 4.7 percent.
Last year the school board reduced the surplus fund balance by $1.8 million but it still exceeded the legal limit by $1.2 million, or more than 3.5 percent.
State Education Department regulations require school districts to use excess fund balance to reduce taxes. The law requires fund balance that is greater than 4 percent of the previous year's budget to be used for tax relief.
The audit also found that the district Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve was over funded by more than $1.1 million, and that the district’s Retirement Contribution Reserve and Unemployment Insurance Reserve were also over funded. The report says theres enough money in those reserves to cover liabilities for at least next three years without any additional funding.
Dryden Superintendent Sandy Sherwood said that for the past five years the district has been working to build up fund balance and reserves to address gaps in state funding.