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Madison City Schools’ budget sees $16.71 million in reserves

Madison Board of Education members are president Ray White, seated from left, superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler and Ranae Bartlett, standing from left, Connie Spears, Dr. Terri Johnson and David Hergenroeder. (CONTRIBUTED)
Madison Board of Education members are president Ray White, seated from left, superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler and Ranae Bartlett, standing from left, Connie Spears, Dr. Terri Johnson and David Hergenroeder. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Madison City Schools officials are pleased with the outcome of the 2013-2014 budget.

The school district closed its fiscal year with a comfortable fund balance and within close margins of budget projections, according to Chief School Finance Officer Mike Weaver in his report to the Madison Board of Education on Nov. 6.

The fiscal 2013-2014 books ended with $1.4 million more in revenues than in expenditures, Weaver said. Both revenues and expenditures were within one-half of one percent of budget, with amendments applied.

The district’s budget has ended in a positive balance for five consecutive years.

“Fiscal management is a responsibility that our board and our office take very seriously,” Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said. Fowler described the budget as a living document that needs frequent adjustments, not one that only gets once-a-year attention.

“The constant monitoring of the budget and the monthly adjustments have proven to be invaluable,” Fowler said. “Keeping a watch on revenues and expenditures allows the board to get a greater benefit of all revenues.”

“The $16.71 million in reserves for the new budget year is enough to cover 80 days of operating expenses,” public relations manager John Peck said. “The Madison City Board of Education wisely calls for two months reserves, instead of the 30 days that is required by the state.”

Reserves provide a safeguard for unexpected expenses, unfunded mandates, mid-year proration declarations, fluctuations in the economy and growth challenges.

“Mr. Weaver helped Dr. Fowler and board of education members stay on top of the budget through regular updates and budget amendments scrutinized by the board’s finance committee,” Peck said. Board members David Hergenroeder and Connie Spears, who serve on the finance committee, commended the budget outcome.

Maintaining personnel costs at or below 80 percent of all total costs is a key factor for the district’s financial stability. “In addition, department heads and local schools are not operating in an environment where they have to spend or lose their funds like so many other governmental agencies,” Weaver said.

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