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Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel

Auditing Canton Central: It's all in the (fund) balance

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When the state Comptroller audited Canton Central School District recently, auditors found what school officials already know too well: the district can't rely on its dwindling fund balance for much longer.

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

"The report is accurate, but the report is not very helpful," Canton superintendent Bill Gregory said of the audit.

The report found that the district has done a good job managing its finances. But Brian Butry, a spokesperson for the comptroller’s office, says they’re concerned that the district is using its fund balance – basically its savings account – to pay for operations.

"Unfortunately, if that’s a practice that’s going to continue, the school district is going to find itself running out of available options," Butry said.

Superintendent Bill Gregory says he is out of options. There’s nothing left to cut.

That’s why, he says, the district has been using its fund balance. "So I don’t know where to turn," he said. 

Gregory says he’s thankful the state has recognized that Canton Central is in financial trouble. But he's distressed that the audit didn't offer any "viable solutions."

Butry admits that yeah, the comptroller’s office doesn’t have an answer.

"School districts are in a tough spot right now and our audit certainly does not draw any conclusions as to how they’re going to fix every issue that comes up financially but again points to their financial condition," he said. 

Canton and Potsdam schools are considering merging to save costs and offer more opportunities to students.

The merger committee met this week to tour Potsdam’s school facilities and discuss the curriculum.

They’ll meet again in February.


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