Cooperstown Central School District is responding to recommendations in an audit of its cafeteria services released on July 29.
The audit covered the period from July 1, 2014 to Jan. 14, 2016 and focused solely on the district’s School Lunch Fund.
“The school’s overall financial condition remains strong. While the district was aware of the issues highlighted by this audit and had already taken actions to correct them prior to it being undertaken, the insight provided by the Comptroller’s Office has assisted us in moving forward,” Interim Superintendent Michael K. Virgil said.
The fund has run a deficit since the 2012-13 school year as the cost to produce a meal exceeded the revenue received for a meal. In its response to the comptroller’s audit, the Cooperstown Central School District Board of Education cited federally established nutritional guidelines and contractual obligations as reasons for the operational deficit. The board of education and school administrators were aware of the operational deficit and were seeking solutions before the audit began earlier this year.
The School Lunch Fund saw a loss of 14 cents per meal in 2012-13; 7 cents per meal in 2013-14; and 19 cents per meal in 2014-15. The deficits for each year – which over the three year period averaged $20,000 – were covered through transfers from the school’s general fund, according to the Comptroller’s Office.
The district has implemented staffing changes to reduce operating costs for the 2016-17 school year and will complete a cost-per-meal analysis and a meals-per-labor hour analysis per the Comptroller’s Office recommendations.