Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today announced his support of State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s plan to provide daily monitoring of the Roosevelt School District for the upcoming fiscal year to make sure that it stays within its 2007-08 budget. Comptroller DiNapoli’s announcement of the new monitoring system follows a recent audit conducted by his office that found the district spent about $12 million more than it budgeted over the last two years.
"We need to put this intensive monitoring system in place because State Education Commissioner Richard Mills has failed in his oversight of the Roosevelt School District," said Senator Fuschillo. "The Comptroller’s involvement will add an additional layer of supervision to provide much-needed fiscal stability. I welcome Comptroller DiNapoli’s audit plan and will be working closely with him to ensure that Roosevelt gets back on sound financial ground."
"Roosevelt School District has struggled with fiscal issues for years, and its deficit has grown so large that it threatens ongoing operations. To protect the interests of the Roosevelt community and its students and taxpayers, we will take unprecedented action to establish fiscal discipline and good financial management practices at Roosevelt schools," DiNapoli said. "For the first time ever at a school district in New York State, our auditors will provide intensive monitoring of daily financial transactions on a real-time basis, to ensure that the district is spending within budgeted appropriations. We will report on our findings quarterly to ensure total accountability and allow the community to monitor the district’s progress toward fiscal stability."
Under this real-time audit, auditors from the State Comptroller’s office will analyze the district’s spending and financial transactions on a day to day basis. The auditors will then issue quarterly reports of their findings, which will be communicated to both the State Education Department and members of the community.
A Comptroller’s audit released on March 6 found that the district ended fiscal year 05-06 with a $6.2 million deficit equal to more than 11 percent of the district’s general fund. Auditors estimated that the district will sustain an operating deficit of $6.1 million for 2006-07, for a total accumulated deficit of $12.3 million, unless significant action is taken to eliminate unnecessary spending and control costs. The primary causes of the deficit were overspending of budget items, repeated unrealistic estimates of state aid revenue, poor budgeting and financial management practices, and inadequate long-term planning.
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