The City School District of New Rochelle is the only District in Westchester County identified as under "Financial Stress" by New York State Comptroller DiNapoli in a new report based on his Fiscal Stress Monitoring System. New Rochelle was classified as being in "Moderate Financial Stress".
EDITOR'S NOTE: In preparing this story, the District was asked for a statement. No statement was provided to Talk of the Sound but last night a statement was published on the District web site:
The primary factor that accounts for this rating is a declining fund balance, which is primarily the result of the economic downturn over the past few years, rising mandated pension contributions and health care costs, negative adjustments in state aid, all coupled with the tax levy spending cap. This has required us turn to our fund balance, which we had built up in better economic times, to fully fund our annual spending plans and maintain our educational programs. Beginning with the current fiscal year, we have taken steps to reduce our reliance on the use of fund balance to balance our budget. We do not now, and never have, operated on deficit spending. The issue of declining fund balance flagged by the Comptroller's Report provides a cautionary note for future budget planning. As we are beginning to develop our budget for the upcoming school year, we will be paying particular attention to the extent to which we rely on fund balance.
For a copy of the New Rochelle School District fiscal profile visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/satfiles/School/New...
The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System and resulting fiscal stress designations rely on data, as of 12/13/2013, from ST-3 reports submitted by school districts to the State Education Department.
This list reflects a fiscal year end date of June 30, 2013.
Earlier this year, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli implemented an early warning system that gives local communities a fiscal stress score.
DiNapoli’s system evaluates local governments and school districts on nine financial indicators and creates an overall fiscal stress score. Indicators include fund balance, cash-on-hand and patterns of operating deficits. The scores are used to classify a local community or school district as being in “significant fiscal stress,” “moderate fiscal stress,” “susceptible to fiscal stress” and “no designation.” The system also evaluates communities relative to 14 environmental stress factors such as population trends, poverty rates and property values.
School District Stress List: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/stress_list.pdf
To be classified under "Significant Stress", the District has a score of greater than or equal to 65% of total points. 12 districts were determined to be in "Significant Stress".
To be classified under "Moderate Stress", the District has a score of greater than or equal to45% of total points. 22 districts were determined to be in "Moderate Stress", including New Rochelle.
A third category is "Susceptible to Fiscal Stress" for Districts with a score greater than or equal to 25% of total points. One Westchester school district, Hendrick Hudson Central School District, was classified in this category.
If a school district is not shown on this list, it may not have filed its ST-3 report, may have data that is inconclusive for FSMS or may have no designation.
For more detailed information about Comptroller DiNapoli’s fiscal stress monitoring system and to view reports related to local government fiscal stress visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/index.htm
For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.