Recommendation #3: Develop a plan to use the surplus fund balance identified in this report in a manner that benefits district residents. Such uses could include: using surplus funds as a financing source, funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves, reducing District property taxes.
Our response: We use our surplus fund balances to the benefit of district residents and students. We routinely apply any surplus funding to reduce taxes, make one-time purchases, and fund reserves.
Recommendation #4: Review reserves to determine if the amounts reserved are justified, necessary, and reasonable. To the extent they are not, reserves should be properly reduced.
Our response: We review for reasonableness every year. And, in the absence of a predictable fiscal environment, it would be irresponsible of District leadership to reduce reserves unnecessarily and compromise our ability to adjust for unexpected events.
While we welcome the Comptroller’s opinion, I am obligated to remind community members that it is only an opinion. I believe our students and taxpayers have benefitted from our conservative approach to budgeting. This approach has allowed the District to maintain program opportunities for students, adjust for unpredictable expenses, and avoid wild fluctuations in the tax levy.
Paul Finch, Superintendent