DELANO, MN With Delano Public Schools preparing for the end of the calendar year, the Delano School Board heard an audit report of the 2014 fiscal year at its Nov. 24 meeting.
KDV Government Audit Partner Matt Mayer told the board he was providing an unmodified opinion, which is the best the district can receive.
Before delving into financial matters, he noted one finding regarding when board members should abstain from voting on contracts due to relations. Another finding, the lack of segregation of accounting duties, is common among districts with small accounting staffs.
“The financial health of the district continues to be strong,” Mayer said.
He pointed to the district’s fund balance of more than $6.3 million as an indication of that financial health. That number is equal to about 24 percent of the district’s expenditures.
“To put that into perspective, statewide in 2013, that number was about 22 percent,” Mayer said. “You took a small step back from 25.8 percent the prior year as a result of a fund balance decline and the additional students you served.”
The district had initially budgeted to spend down the fund balance by about $660,000, before amending that amount to about $390,000 and, ultimately, spending the fund balance down by about $86,000.
Revenues came in at about $21,815,000, compared to expenditures at about $21,901,000.
“The budget you approved and amended was executed well by administration,” Mayer said.
State funding increased 1.5 percent in 2014 and will increase 1.9 percent in 2015, plus an additional $424 per pupil unit to adjust for pupil weight changes, pension adjustments and other restructuring.
“There’s finally some good news on the general fund side of things,” Mayer said. “The state’s financial position has improved. They paid back the tax shift they borrowed from you to balance their budget and they’re paying you on a 90-10 basis, whereas, in 2012, they were only paying 60 cents on the dollar.”
A disparity still exists between Delano’s general fund revenues per student compared to the state average. In 2013, those numbers stood at $8,688 and $10,698, respectively.
Board member Carolyn Milano, the district’s Schools for Equity in Education representative, said there will likely be legislation proposed to address the disparity in funding between districts.
Odds and Ends
In other business, the board:
• approved a memorandum of agreement with the Delano Teachers Association to allow teachers to donate one or two days of sick leave to a colleague in need of it.
• noted the Truth in Taxation meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, in the Delano High School Media Center.