Budget And Fiscal Management

09/30/2014 – State Of The System

.pdf link icon State Of The System Address (page 3)

Budget/Fiscal Management
The Board of Education and school district administration addressed budget, fiscal, and legal issues that directly impact the financial resources and fund balance:
Implemented Specific Budget Process Improvements including the following:

  • Eliminated the FY2012 General Fund deficit of $13.9 million (audited) with an indicated (audited) fund surplus of $14.4 million as of the end of FY2013; FY2013 audited results now confirm General Fund surplus. State withdrew requirement to submit monthly “Deficit Elimination Plan”.
  • Maintained strict expense control during FY2013 and FY2014 resulting in revenues collected exceeding total expenses during both fiscal years.
  • Ending FY2014 Fund Balance (unaudited) presently estimated at $31+ million.
  • Adopted a FY2014 balanced budget targeting specific cuts ($18.5 million) and educational enhancements ($27.3 million).
  • Adopted FY2015 Budget with School based Academic Enhancements totaling $23.3 million consisting of the elimination of all furlough days for Teachers; School allotment funding ($8 million) for 100 additional Teachers to reduce class size; and additional training supplements for Bookkeepers, Registrars, Head Custodians and Principal Secretaries.
  • Hired additional Finance & Auditing Division staff
  • Continuing quarterly Budget Review meetings with Division Heads and other senior staff to examine actual and projected expenses relative to budgets
  • Added Variance Analysis Report to monthly Financial Report submitted to BOE Members
  • Approved 1% COLA the first in six years ($5.8 million)
  • Added six elementary school SROs

Addressed the FY2012 Audit including material weaknesses relative to the recently released State FY2012 Audit (covering 7/1/2011 through 6/30/2012) which includes the following:

  • Reporting and accounting improvements
  • Purchasing of new school-based accounting software and is currently being installed
  • Rewriting of accounting standard operating procedures
  • Examining procedures, policies and processes to improve internal controls
  • FY2013 Audit as completed reduced number of material weakness findings from three to two for FY2013
  • Presently addressing findings of the completed FY2013 Audit

Heery Lawsuit Settlement Agreement – The DeKalb County Board of Education reached a settlement with Heery International in a six-year litigation concerning school construction programs. Heery paid $7.5 million to the DeKalb County School District to support the education needs of the county’s school children.
Solicited and Selected a New General Counsel Through RFQ Process: The School District working through the RFQ Process received 19 proposals from legal firms for the position of General Counsel to the District. The selection process narrowed this number to two firms which were asked for their final and best offer. Out of this process a new General Counsel was selected and approved by the BOE on August 4, 2014. The agreed to monthly retention amount (for first year) for the new General Counsel is $65,000. This is substantially below the previous monthly retention amount (2 firms) of $235,000 monthly amount or $2.8 million annually. The new retainer amount totals $780,000 annually exclusive of construction issues and complex litigation.