The overall opinion from auditor Phil Rubley is that the Morenci school district is in pretty good shape.
“Your report card is good,” Rubley said, as he presented the annual audit at Monday night’s board of education meeting.
The original budget adopted by the board for the 2006-07 school year showed a deficit of $394,400. A cost savings of more than $300,000 came from cuts approved by the board, including administrative reductions, administrators serving in dual roles, pay freezes, insurance concessions from administration and support staff, leaves of absence and budget line items being reduced or eliminated.
A huge factor in the cost savings, said Erica Metcalf, finance director, was that the district was fully funded from the amount promised by the state.
The actual budget deficit stood at $87,466 from Rubley’s audit, covering the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007.
“This is very, very good,” said Rubley. “You adhered to the budget very closely. You kept it in line. What you’ve done is bought time.”
The food service added $14,999 to its fund, increasing its balance to $123,374, which Rubley says is excellent for a food service operation.
The athletic fund shows a negative change of $4,558, bringing the fund balance to $15,917. Rubley explained that this kind of change is normal.
“But you’re still in pretty good shape,” he said.
Rubley gave the audit an “unqualified” opinion, which means the figures are presented fairly in all material respects and that they comply with general accounting practices and auditing standards.
“This is the highest opinion I can render,” he said. “Your accounting records are very good. You should be commended for that.”
Rubley cautioned the board about the district’s future finances.
“There are some things you’ll have to change down the road,” he said.
The projected deficit for the current year was budgeted at $150,000. If that shortfall were to continue, the $805,000 fund equity would disappear in a few years.
But if the cuts hadn’t been made, he noted that all savings would have disappeared in just a couple of years.
It’s odd to call a deficit budget a good report, Rubley said Tuesday, but that’s an indication of state of school financing in Michigan.
“I was pleased with the audit,” he said. “They’re holding their position really well.