NEH reviews finances

On Wednesday, Gary Sinclair and Patti Schroeder, co-directors of financial support with the Iowa Association of School Boards, presented a review of the financial status of the Northeast Hamilton School District.

At the informational meeting, Sinclair and Schroeder met with NEH Supt. Larry Frakes and NEH Board Secretary Kathryn Biere to provide an overview of the district’s budget.

A summary of the report will be presented to each board member prior to November’s monthly board meeting.

“This is to provide additional support to the district,” explained Sinclair prior to the presentation. “It is not connected to any current status of the district. It is provided to support the superintendent and to help with the understanding of finances”.

The presentation is a service provided by the Iowa Association of School Boards and is a valuable resource to districts in understanding finances and budgets, explained Schroeder. The presentation is given at the request of a district for the benefit of new superintendents.

The Power Point presentation was delivered in real time with current district data.

“The big issue is how you deal with this as you go forward,” said Sinclair.

Sinclair pointed to seven key indicators that districts need to identify when developing a budget. Those indicators include certified enrollment, solvency ratio, drop-out prevention, special education, unspent balance, miscellaneous income and budget authority.

Sinclair stated that the financials for the NEH district presented excellent data.

“Your district ought to feel good about its financial health,” he said.

But he warned that the data he reviewed comes from past figures.

“This is great data, but it is seen in the rearview mirror,” he said. “You need to be careful of how you move forward”.

He noted that the continuation of declining enrollment will hurt the district.

It has been noted by analysts who have reviewed NEH’s financial status, that the district is cash rich but budget poor. Sinclair echoed that fact.

Due to the state finance formula, with a zero balance in its Cash Reserve Levy going forward, NEH will be limited to only $14,469 for its Net Allowable Growth when it prepares its budget for FY 14, Sinclair said.