District receives clean audit report

Dearborn Public Schools has received its second Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International.  The award recognizes best budget presentation practices in school districts.

The district also received an unmodified or “clean” audit at its Dec. 9 Board of Education Meeting.

The audit covered the 2018-2019 school year for both the district and Henry Ford College.

For Dearborn Public Schools, the district had $224 million in general fund revenue last school year, with $167 million, or more than three-quarters of funding, coming from the state, said Jeffrey Higgins, with outside auditors Plante Moran.

Most of state funding came from an $8,722 per pupil allotment last year.  That is less than the $8,769 the district received in the 2005-06 school year.  (This year the foundation allowance increased to $8,842 per student, still well under the high of $9,083 in 2008-09.)

“On the revenue side of the equation, local districts have very little ability to control how much revenue they bring in other than trying to maintain their enrollment,” Higgins noted to the board.

For the spending, 87 percent of expenses were for salaries and benefits and only 1 percent for capital outlays.

The District has also increased its fund balance to the minimum 15 percent (about $33 million) recommended by the Michigan School Business Officials.  The increase is largely due to additional revenue from a Wayne RESA millage for schools.  With the larger reserve fund, the district no longer has to borrow money to cover its bills over the summer while waiting for state distributions.