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Peekskill Named One Of State's 10 Most Fiscally Stressed School Districts

Peekskill School District was named by state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli as one of the state's 10 most fiscally stressed districts.
Peekskill School District was named by state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli as one of the state's 10 most fiscally stressed districts. Photo Credit: Daily Voice File Photo

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Peekskill School District was named Thursday as one of New York's 10 most fiscally stressed districts, according to state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Ninety school districts, more than 13 percent of districts statewide, have been designated as fiscally stressed under DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System. DiNapoli’s office evaluated 672 school districts with fiscal years ending on June 30, 2014.

Peekskill was the only school district in Westchester County among the 10 most stressed. The other schools that were classified in "significant stress" are Wyandanch Union Free School District (Suffolk County); Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District (Niagara); East Ramapo Central School District (Rockland); Lawrence Union Free School District (Nassau); Watervliet City School District (Albany); Copiague Union Free School District (Suffolk); Lewiston-Porter Central School District (Niagara); West Seneca Central School District (Erie) ;and Hempstead Union Free School District (Nassau).

This is the second year DiNapoli’s office has assessed and scored the financial stability of school districts. There were 27 districts in “moderate fiscal stress” and 53 as “susceptible to fiscal stress.” Last year, a total of 87 districts were listed in fiscal stress.

“School districts are the hearts of many of our communities, but they face fiscal pressures that are unlikely to change any time soon,” DiNapoli said in a press release on his website . “Although the increases in fiscal stress are relatively minor, the same problems persist, including increased deficits and dwindling fund balances. I urge school officials, especially those overseeing districts with deteriorating fiscal health, to use these scores as an impetus for more deliberate and careful long-term budget planning.”

Using financial indicators that include year-end fund balance, short-term borrowing and patterns of operating deficits, the monitoring system creates an overall fiscal stress score which classifies whether a district is in “significant fiscal stress,” in “moderate fiscal stress,” is “susceptible to fiscal stress,” or has “no designation.”

The scores are based on financial information submitted as part of each district’ report filed with the State Education Department, as of Dec. 31, 2014. The announcement does not include scores for the dependent school districts in the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers. Information for these districts will be incorporated into the scoring for their respective cities later this year.

For a list of schools listed in fiscal stress, click here .

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