State report shows district is financially stable

A recent report from the Office of the State Comptroller confirms that Herkimer Central School’s financial stability continues to improve with the support of the board, the administration and the community.

The state Comptroller’s Office recently released its fiscal stress scores for public school districts throughout the state. Herkimer received a score of 16.7, down from 38.3 the previous year, meaning that the district has “no designation” of fiscal stress — the lowest possible designation within the rating system.

According to the Comptroller’s Office, the fiscal stress monitoring system aims to “provide an objective analysis of the fiscal challenges facing individual … school districts.” The scores are based on a number of indicators, including year-end fund balance and patterns of borrowing or deficits. The scores released in January are based on financial information filed with the State Education Department as of Dec. 31, 2017.

District officials have worked over the last several years to control costs and maintain an appropriate fund balance while continuing to deliver valuable programs and services to Herkimer students. Superintendent Robert Miller will deliver a budget presentation to the Board of Education at its Jan. 31 meeting, detailing recommendations for the continued funding of district programs, services and staffing.  

The Mohawk Valley has been one of the regions with the highest percentage of “stressed” school districts. Last year, Herkimer improved its score from 65 to 38.3, moving out of the category of “Significant Fiscal Stress” and into the category of “Susceptible to Fiscal Stress,” and was identified in the Comptroller’s report as one of 18 districts showing a “major decrease” in fiscal stress scores.