S-S receives ’08 audit, spent $700,000 less than year before

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

STANDISH — At it’s Dec. 8 Board of Education meeting, the Standish-Sterling Community Schools District (S-S) heard its fiscal year 2008 (FY08) budget audit report from Mark Janke, an accountant for Quast, Janke and Company. The audit reported that the district had a drop in revenue, bad news, and expenditures, good news, for the fiscal year that concluded in June 2008.

There was more good news for the district besides spending less, though, as it needed to borrow only $156,225 from its fund equity (reserve) account to come out ahead in its revenue amount from fiscal year 2007 to FY08.

“We cut the loss by about $450,000,” Janke said. According to the audit, the funds taken from fund equity in FY07 to balance for fiscal year 2006 equaled $612,416.

“We (S-S) had a very good year,” Janke added, despite the loss. “You (S-S) still have one of the healthiest fund balances around.”

“It’s nice that we have that there and that’s a tribute to Mr. (Claude) Inch,” said S-S Business Specialist Mike Waldie, giving credit to the former S-S Superintendent. “We can weather these storms better than most people.”

The audit says S-S is currently sitting on a fund equity of $5,775,850.

In the arena of revenues, the S-S audit showed revenues of $15,098,275, down from $15,518,867 in fiscal year 2007.

“There was quite a bit of it that was attributable to the grants. We didn’t get as much state and federal grants,” Waldie said. “That’s where the revenue decreased.”

Waldie added the loss, which included almost $150,000 less in at-risk student funding and nearly $70,000 less from federal sources, may grow next year due to the large loss of students that the district expects to see.

“Next year we’re going to lose 40 kids,” Waldie said.

He also says that the current state foundation grant, which included an increase in funding of $112 per student, will probably revert back to its amount before the increase, approximately $7,200 per student before the end of the year.

“Our monthly payouts (from the state) have been based on $112 (increase),” he said. “I think they’re (state government) going to take that away in January.

“It’s hard to control things when you have no control over them.”

But one thing the district was able to control was its expenditures.

“We cut some discretionary spending, items that are nice but you don’t need to have,” Waldie said, adding capital outlay purchases were also minimized. “Any piece of equipment that’s over $1,000, that’s capital outlay.”

There were some retirees that also helped the district keep its expenditures down.

“We had a couple of teachers retire and we replaced those teachers,” Waldie said. He added, however, that new teachers make approximately half of what the retired teachers were.

In the end, the total expenditures of S-S in FY08 were $15,015,660.

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