School Board Puts More Money in Unassigned Fund Balance

The School Board voted 5-0 to transfer $100,000 to unassigned fund balance, which brings the fund to a total of $202,810 “plus or minus 10 percent.”

“Do we have a chance to add more to that fund during the budget season?” board member Steve Young asked Business Administrator Peter Curro during his first- quarter financial report at the School Board’s Oct. 21 meeting.

“Not during the budget season, this is our one and only chance,” Curro said. “Now that we have a better understanding of the law, next year maybe we will come in a little bit earlier with this. I’ve always thought $100,000 is appropriate in that we’re doing what the rating agencies want us to do and balancing that with a tax rate the Board is going to be happy with.”

“I appreciate that and I’m not picking on you coming in at this hour. I think a $200,000 fund balance on a $65 million corporation is laughable,” Young said.

But the District can build on that, Curro said, noting it should be the District’s goal over the next few years to put $100,000 away as long as it doesn’t affect the tax rate.

In regard to moving forward with the next budget season, Curro said the Department of Education (DOE) has yet to notify the District of a meeting to set the December 2014 tax rate. Once that meeting is set, the District may move forward with a meeting to set the property tax rate.

Unlike last year, the DOE provided a number for all districts to use for its adequacy grant, which was $136,260 below the District’s estimate during the FY15 budget process.

In addition to the $202,810 unassigned fund balance, Curro told the board he anticipates the District will use around $725,500 of year-end fund balance to offset the December FY15 tax rate.

The District also re-ceived $1.5 million in unanticipated surplus funds from its healthcare pro-viders due to “more efficient operations,” which Curro said will be used to help cover cost-overruns in the budget. The District also expects to save $344,760 in salary accounts due to professional and full-time staff turnover.

“At this early stage of the fiscal year, after committing all known expenditures for the current fiscal year, the General Fund is in good shape,” he said, noting any possible ad-justments to state revenue will remain unknown until they meet with the Department of Revenue.

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