Albany, NY (WBEN) - Thirteen percent of school districts statewide, have been designated as fiscally stressed under State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System.
Using financial indicators that include year-end fund balance, cash position and patterns of operating deficits, the system creates an overall fiscal stress score which classifies whether a district is in “significant fiscal stress,” in “moderate fiscal stress,” as “susceptible to fiscal stress,” or “no designation.”
Among those are 11 School Districts in Western New York.
Districts under "Susceptible Fiscal Stress" include Bemus Point Central School District in Chautauqua, Niagara Falls City School District in Niagara, Byron-Bergen Central School District in Genesee, and Ellicottville Central School District in Cattaraugus.
There are four districts under "Moderate Fiscal Stress," including Lake Shore Central School District, Frontier Central School District, Holland Central School District, and Lackawanna City School District, all in Erie County.
Lewiston-Porter Central School District, and Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District in Niagara, and West Seneca Central School District in Erie are deemed to be under "Significant Fiscal Stress."
The Comptroller’s office analyzed separate environmental indicators to help provide insight into the health of the local economy and other challenges that might affect a school district’s finances. These include such measures as student enrollment, property value, budget vote results and poverty.
To date, 12 school districts have been classified as in “significant fiscal stress,” 23 in “moderate fiscal stress,” and 52 as “susceptible to fiscal stress.”
Later this year, DiNapoli’s office will release separate scoring lists for those cities and villages whose fiscal years end at various periods throughout the year. The Comptroller’s monitoring system previously identified a total of 40 municipalities in some level of fiscal stress. This list includes 16 counties, 18 towns, five cities and one village.