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Letter: Island Trees School District’s Fiscal Stress Status

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has developed a fiscal stress monitoring system for government municipalities and school districts.  The chief purpose of this monitoring system is to provide public organizations with necessary feedback regarding the level of fiscal stress under which the institution is operating. There are four designations indicating the particular level of fiscal stress: “Significant Fiscal Stress (65 percent-100 percent)”, “Moderate Fiscal Stress (55 percent-64.9 percent)”, “Susceptible to Fiscal Stress (45 percent-54.9 percent)”, and “No Designation (0 percent-44.9 percent)”.  Districts may operate under fiscal stress due to revenue shortfalls, expenditure overruns, or budget deficits. Fittingly, Island Trees received “No Designation” (0%) status, which, according to the Comptroller’s Office, means that our district is financially sound and is not operating under any fiscal stress.  Presently, 13% of New York State school districts are operating on some level of fiscal stress, including four Nassau County school districts (Lawrence, Manhasset, Seaford, and Valley Stream 24). Important to note is that while many of these school districts were once lauded for their financial position, a poor decision here or there may have had a negative impact on their overall fiscal health.  Therefore, it is important for all school districts to anticipate future economic challenges and to remain focused on their fiduciary responsibilities.  Failure to do so can result in a district quickly being added to the Comptroller “Fiscal Stress” list. Collectively, the Island Trees School Board has been very proactive with our fiscal stewardship, which has helped facilitate our current position.   As a group, we will continue to act in a fiscally responsible manner on behalf of the community and students.

 

Island Trees Board of Education

 

Kenneth Rochon, President                        

 

Kristen Daum, Vice Preside

 

Daniel Donahue                                         

 

Patricia Mahon

 

Kim McDonough

 

Barbara Medellin

 

George Storm