School Finance
January 25, 2019

Fact Sheet 19-4: NYS Comptroller Designates Five School Districts in Fiscal Stress

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services

Fact Sheet 19 4 NYS Comptroller Designates Five School Districts in Fiscal Stress

In addition to those nine districts, the report also identified seventeen districts as being “Susceptible to Fiscal Stress” (Corinth, DeRuyter, Evans-Brant, Hudson Falls, Long Beach, Marathon, New Hartford, Niagara-Wheatfield, North Bellmore, Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville, Otego-Unadilla, Oxford Academy, Port Chester-Rye, Richfield Springs, Springville-Griffith Institute, West Seneca and Wyandanch).

There were no districts in the state that were identified as being in “Moderate Stress” and twenty-one identified as being “Susceptible to Fiscal Stress” (Adirondack, Binghamton, Clymer, Cortland, Crown Point, East Aurora, East Ramapo, Eastport-South Manor, Fort Edward, Hempstead, Hudson Falls, Lafayette, Livingston Manor, Long Beach, Marathon, North Bellmore, Oxford, Phelps-Clifton Springs, Rensselaer, Rockville Centre and Roosevelt).

Based on their fiscal score, school districts are assigned into one of four categories:

  1. No Designation.  646 school districts were given this rating indicating that their fiscal score doesn’t meet the threshold for stress.
  2. Susceptible to Fiscal Stress.  21 school districts were given this rating indicating that they are exhibiting some signs of fiscal stress.
  3. Moderate Fiscal Stress.  No school districts were given this rating indicating that they are fiscally stressed, but the level is less severe.
  4. Significant Fiscal Stress.  5 school districts were given this rating indicating that they are considered to be the most fiscally stressed.

FSMS uses various financial indicators such as fund balances, operating deficits, cash ratio, and short-term borrowing to assign an annual fiscal score to every school district, except for the Big 5 City School Districts (Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers). The current fiscal score is based on financial data from the 2017-18 school year.

A copy of the comptroller’s report Fiscal Stress in School Districts Common Themes for School Year 2017-18 is available at https://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/common-themes-for-school-year-2017-18.pdf

This is the sixth annual scoring of school districts provided by FSMS. Fewer school districts have been designated this year than in previous years. The following table, based on data from the Office of State Comptroller, provides a history of the designations by year.

 

2012-13 School Year

2013-14 School Year

2014-15 School Year

2015-16 School Year

2016-17 School Year

2017-18 School Year


Number of School Districts Identified

Significant Fiscal Stress

12

10

8

2

2

5

Moderate Fiscal Stress

23

27

24

9

7

0

Susceptible to Fiscal Stress

52

53

50

48

17

21

No Designation

583

582

590

612

648

646

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