Dist. 877 receives ‘clean’ audit

Matt Mayer from the auditing firm Kern, DeWenter, Viere presented the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Dist. 877 School Board with the district’s financial audit report for the 2011-12 school year.

He reported that the district received an unqualified and clean opinion on its financial statements; the best rating a district can receive. He noted that district dollars are being spent where they were intended.

Actual revenues and expenses were very close to projections. Total revenues and other financing sources ended at about $54.5 million and total expenditures at about $52 million, with the General Fund’s overall fund balance increasing by over $2.3 million. The General Fund’s final revenues and expenditures were close to budget. General Fund revenues came in 0.01% less than budgeted ($6,026), and expenditures were 2.77% under budget ($1,490,526). The expenses were lower than projected due to last year’s mild winter and other cost saving measures across the district.

The unassigned/non-spendable fund balance ended the 2011-12 school year at $8.1 million or 15.6% of the General Fund’s expenditures. The fund balance percentage is slightly above the range of our fund balance policy of 8-12% and will buy the district some time before future action is needed if the state continues the same level of funding to school districts.

The Food Service fund balance went down for 2011-12 and will need to be reviewed for 2012-13. The Community Service fund continues to be a self-supporting fund.

Overall, the district’s financial position continues to be balanced, and expenditures were controlled with lower than expected fuel and utility expenditures through lower costs and conservation measures. The district also experienced lower than anticipated costs for transportation. The district was also able to avoid cash flow borrowing for this year as well.

The BHM Business Office has three “dashboard indicators” for our department and all are in the area of fiscal responsibility/accountability. The first is that the district will have an unqualified opinion. The district received an unqualified and clean opinion on its financial statements. The second category is that the district will spend at least 75% of the General Fund expenditures on instructional costs. The district met this target at 76% of all costs going into instruction. The third “dashboard indicator” category is to have the final General Fund budget for revenues and expenditures are within 2% of the final results. The combined budget variance for revenues and expenditures is 2.76% and slightly outside the dashboard target.



In other news, the board heard that the official Oct. 1 enrollment for Dist. 877 Schools is 5,742 students. This is only an increase of about eight students from last year at this time. This year’s enrollment number is very close to the projections made last fall for the 2012-13 school year of about 5,739 students.

Class sizes have also stayed relatively the same at each grade level. This year class sizes at the elementary level are at 24.28 students, the middle school is at 29.87 students and the high school is at 30.61 students. There are a few sections in the elementary schools (Hanover, Northwinds, Parkside and Tatanka) with 30 or more students in third, fourth and fifth grades. At the middle school there are many sections with 30 or more students, and the high school has English, science, social studies, math and world languages sections ranging from 37-46 students.

More detailed information can be found on the district website at www.bhmschools.org.