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A Curriculum Management Audit - page 106 / 140

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development and implementation of the Board’s goals and objectives.” This plan is to be reviewed and approved annually by the Board of Directors. The expectation inherent in this statement is that there will be identifiable linkage between the budget and the district’s planning documents, which communicate district goals and priorities.

  • Policy 7002, Investment of Funds was last amended in 1985. It authorizes “the superintendent

and business manager to direct the County Treasurer to invest surplus funds.”

The budget is prepared and presented in a format consistent with state requirements. Exceptions identified by independent financial auditors in previous audits were rectified in the most recent audit. Curriculum management auditors found that building level understanding and implementation of the budget varied greatly between schools with some schools incurring substantial deficits. Interviews revealed significant levels of concern about budget development, implementation, and financial accounting:

  • “There is significant misunderstanding about how we fund schools.”

  • “Budget information may be available, but it is not user friendly.”

  • “The district does not have the financial infrastructure to manage budgets on a building level.”

  • “We are expected to be accountable, but there seems to be a moving pot of resources.”

  • “The budget is very complicated. I can’t share it with my staff because it isn’t accurate. We just save our money and then buy and hope we have enough to cover the cost.”

  • “I can’t get the financial information I need. Some individuals get paid multiple times for the same work. Some vendors wait months for payment.”

  • “We are forced to keep a separate set of books, because we don’t trust the posting process.”

  • “Finances are taking away from the time I should be spending with teachers and students.”

  • “We need to make the budget a curriculum based, program-driven budget.”

  • “The budgeting process is so cumbersome. It may work on paper, but it doesn’t work in practice.”

  • “Finance is a nightmare for me. The number of steps you have to go through to do a transfer is ridiculous.”

  • “How can you have site-based management if the site doesn’t know the status of the budget?”

  • “There are too many revisions to the budget. It is difficult to track actual balances.”

  • “School sites should have input to budget decisions, but the mechanics need to be handled by the district.”

  • “I have to keep two sets of books to monitor my budget balances. The district’s printouts have lots of errors and run about six weeks behind.”

Concerns were also expressed that there was not sufficient expertise at the building adequately meet the book keeping demands and that people were asked to work outside

description (see opportunities (see

Finding Finding

1.4).

In

addition,

it

was

3.1) was uneven which led to

reported that staff further inefficiencies.

response

to

level to their job inservice

  • “The budget is very complex. On the building level, not very many people understand it or how

to work with it.”

  • “The real weakness is the lack of training. We jump into things without really being prepared.”

  • “Attrition impacts our ability to do our work and we can’t train new people fast enough.”

The current budgeting process is not seen, by most schools, as workable or user friendly. However to be effective, it must serve as a financial database and network that are able to track costs to results, provide sufficient fiduciary control, and be used as a viable data base in making policy and operational decisions (see Recommendation 6).

Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 100

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