Saturday, February 23, 2013

Brief Overview of School Finance History

A brief outline overview of WSD financial history, (those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.)

2007 49.33% tax increase through “Truth in Taxation” More here
  • Presentation mainly about mil rates – NOT dollars 
  • Board declared need because of a 3.5% salary increase (actually that was done by state)
  • This massive increase resulted in massive spending increases above student growth ever since
2008-9 budget shows $23M for high school - funding source unknown 
Utah code specifies no transfers betweenfunds without state school board permission
USOE rules state the no 'unassigned' funds can be kept in funds other than “General” Other fund balances must be allocated.

The improperly noticed WSD Jul 2012 budget hearing had No budget available for hearing 
  •  received 'expanded' budget copy after repeated requests
  • Found excessive Gen Fund reserve balance ca. $5 million
  • With that expanded info, more data found in SAO audit submissions
WTPA requested return of excess funds at 2nd budget heating (Aug)
  • WSD Business Administrator produced extra budget page showing 'unassigned' and 'undistributed'  anddeclared ONLY 'undistributed' was limited to 5%
  • WSD Business Administrator said it was OK because at least 3 other districts had larger % balances
  • Board members declared the 'Rainy Day' fund was needed for unseen expenses
  • WSD response 
  • WTPA asked for time at next meeting to discuss the issue – refused!

School board policies should be altered to reflect a policy of fiscal responsibility, conservatism and respect for taxpayers, in addition to declared goal of educating students.

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