School revenue dips in FY 2011
The decrease in federal funds for education and lower earnings on investments have come home to the Carbon School District during the past fiscal year.
That was the analysis of Doug Rasmussen from the auditing firm of Smuin, Rich & Marsing as he presented the FY2011 audit to Carbon County School Board members at their last meeting.
Rasmussen highlighted several sections from the audit report that was handed out in the meeting. Some of the financial highlights included that total revenues for the Maintenance and Operation fund (General fund) decreased from $25,282,314 in 2010 to $23,889,285 in 2011 with the majority of the decrease attributed to a substantial decrease in federal funds and a decrease in earnings on investments, due to lower balances and investment rates.
Total expenditures increased for the Maintenance and Operation fund to $24,620,311 in 2011. This was up from $24,573,553 in 2010. The most significant increases are in operation and maintenance of facilities and transportation. The most significant decreases occurred in instructional services and district administration. Even though the district increases expenditures by almost $47,000, they worked to offset those by cuts in spending in many different departments.
The district's total net assets increased by $1,493,826 in 2011. Capital assets (net accumulated depreciation) were responsible for the increase. The District's investment in in capital assets as of June 30,2011 includes land, construction in progress, buildings and improvements, and furniture and equipment. This year's major additions included;
Construction on Carbon High, $1,045,302;
Construction on Castle Valley Center, $153,344;
Construction on Bruin Point Point Elementary, $719,233;
Equipment/Automobiles-buses and autos, $63,168.
The District was able to reduce its total bonded debt this past year by 9.83 percent. The decrease included a debt refunding issue and a debt reduction that amounted to a $1,009,304 reduction in debt.
Some hard economic factors that the district has been struggling with is the decline in school enrollment that means less funding based on WPU (weighted pupil unit) After 1994, the Carbon School District faced consistent decreases in enrollment. The past five years it has steadied off with slight increases and decreases. With the ongoing recession the state school funding has been reduced, but the loss has been offset by federal funding from the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other stimulus activities. These have run out and in the future the District will need to adjust to a lower level of ongoing state funding. There is also no expectation of seeing any significant change in revenue from property taxes in the coming year.
Three matters that were classified as significant deficiencies were noted in a separate management letter given to the board dated October 28, 2011. A significant deficiency is less severe than a finding of material weakness, but important enough to merit the attention by those charged with the governance of the action.
The first significant deficiency was in the Internal Controls in District accounting systems to prevent the double payment of vendors for goods and services are not being used properly. The second was that the District has adopted a purchasing policy which requires different levels of approval, depending on the amount of a purchase. During the year some principals at some schools entered into agreements for capital leases that exceeded their level of approval.
Business administrator Darin Lancaster was given the information and put in place new and renewed training to all affected personnel, principals and school secretaries to remedy the situations. No further action is needed.
The third issue was that the District had allocated Title One fund for homelessness for use for homeless students in non-participating schools but failed to spend it in non-participating schools. Discussion ensued that it was more a matter of reviewing the rules to understand the definition of what is defined as a homeless student and applying the funds accordingly. The term "homeless student" is much broader than most realize. This deficiency has also been remedied already.
The motion to accept the audit was made and approved.
In other business out-of-state travel request for several High School sport teams to participate in tournaments over 150 miles from Price were approved. Also a discussion was held on becoming more involved in the "Apples for Teachers" program held by a local radio station.