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Explanation of South Glens Falls Central School District’s designation as a district “susceptible of fiscal stress”

February 1, 2016

In January 2016, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released the third annual report of the state’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring. His office evaluated 678 school districts with fiscal years ending on June 30, 2015.

For the second year in a row, the report classified the SGF Schools as “susceptible to fiscal stress,” which is the lowest of the designations a district can receive and still be considered in fiscal stress. This year, South Glens Falls and 49 other district in the state were labeled “susceptible to fiscal stress.” The district received a score of 25 percent out of 100 percent. This year’s score is lower than last year’s score of 28.3 percent, and is also the lowest score a district can receive and be classified on the list. (See chart below.)

School District Classifications of Fiscal Stress Percentage of Total Points Classification of Fiscal Stress

(82 total schools classified out of 678 reporting)

Score Classification

65 – 100% Significant Fiscal Stress (8)
45 – 64.9% Moderate Fiscal Stress (24)
25 – 44.9% Susceptible to Fiscal Stress (50)
0 – 24.9% No Designation (596)

“We want the community to know that despite this designation, South Glens Falls is in good standing with the state and our fiscal accountability,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton, Ed.D. “We are managing our funds with transparency and looking at a long-term plan to maintain our district’s fiscal health.”

The scores are based on financial information that is submitted as part of each district’s ST-3 report, which were filed with the State Education Department, as of Dec. 31, 2015. The scores were compiled using financial indicators such as year-end fund balance, short-term borrowing and patterns of operating deficits.

Of the seven indicators that are used by the Comptroller’s Office, South Glens Falls was noted for spending more than actual revenue taken in, as the district has continued budgeting the use of reserves and unassigned fund balance.

The decision to use reserves and unassigned fund balance was made by the board of education to avoid further eliminations of programs or staff.   

“The 2015-16 school year will be a better year as we rely less on the use of reserves and fund balance to balance the budget,” said Business Manager Audrey Varney. “Our district is committed to being a good steward of our financial resources and we will continue to be fiscally responsible moving forward.”

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