Statewide, there were 33 school districts designated in fiscal stress under New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) for the school year ending in 2019.
“Some of New York’s school districts are in fiscal trouble. While there are a number of factors causing their fiscal stress, each district should address these problems today,” said DiNapoli. “My Fiscal Stress Monitoring System flags issues early so communities can correct them. My office will continue to provide financial planning tools, guidance and training to help schools in stress.”
DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) analyzes a set of six financial indicators to create an overall stress score. The fiscal stress score determines if a district is in “significant fiscal stress,” “moderate stress,” “susceptible to stress” or has not been designated in one of the levels of fiscal stress. In addition, the system has environmental indicators that assess other factors, such as poverty rates and tax base, which are largely outside of the control of school officials, but may affect revenues or drive costs.
According to the report, Cortland County's Cortland City School District was placed in the "moderate fiscal stress" group with a fiscal score of 60.0; while Marathon Central School District was put in the "susceptible to stress" group with a fiscal score of 28.3.
This is DiNapoli’s seventh annual release of fiscal stress scores for school districts. The FSMS covers 674 school districts in 57 counties, but excludes New York City schools and the “Big Four” City School Districts of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers.