Report of Regents Audits/Budget and Finance Committee to The Board of Regents
The Regents Committee on Audits/Budget and Finance met as scheduled yesterday morning, April 22, 2013. Chancellor Tisch, Regents Bendit, Cea, Cottrell, Norwood, Phillips, Tallon, Tilles, and Young were in attendance.
Items for Discussion
March 2013 Fiscal Report
Our Chief Financial Officer briefed the Members. General Fund accounts are in structural balance with the exception of the Tenured Teacher Hearings (TTH) account. Although fiscal and programmatic TTH reforms were included in the enacted state budget, there continues to be a deficit of an estimated $9 million in unpaid bills due to chronic under funding of this program. Revenue accounts are all in structural balance on a current year basis and the accumulated negative balance in the Cultural Education Account is being reduced by approximately $2,800,000, due primarily to an increase in revenue this year.
The members were also briefed on the impact of the 2013-14 Executive Budget on SED operations. The budget contains continued funding to support the baseline Regents exam program, and provides some additional funding for the High School Equivalency program, Teacher Tenured Hearings, and certain Library programs. All other State Operations and Special Revenue Account support is at last years level. In addition, the approved FTE staffing level remains at 2,765.
The Committee was presented with eleven audits this month. Ten of the audits were issued by the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) and one by the New York City Comptroller. Seven of the audits were of school districts, one was of a charter school, one was a provider of special education services, one examined a reporting process within the New York City Department of Education, and one was of Credit Recovery Program throughout the State. The Board of Regents requested OSC in October 2011 to conduct this particular audit.
The findings were in the areas of financial reporting, information technology, segregation of duties, budgeting, student transportation, credit recovery and accuracy of certain student data. The Committee was briefed in more detail on the audit of the Credit Recovery Program in school districts.