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Preparing for Your October 1 Reports

Preparing for Your October 1 Reports

One of the most important times of the year for school finance is upon us.  As you prepare for the October 1st reports, we need to mention a few items that should be checked in your student numbers:

  1. Free and reduced student numbers:  The decline in the number of economically disadvantaged students is one that should be checked to ensure that every student eligible to be counted is.  
  2. Gifted & talented numbers: Once again, we saw a decline in this category of state weights and that could be costing your district revenue.
  3. Special education:  It is important that students on IEPs are counted correctly for the purposes of State Aid.
  4. Transportation: If you have had a new housing development come into town, the numbers you've always used could be undervaluing students who can be counted.

If you want to be accurate in your predictive models, it is important to have accurate grade level count and weights. A comparison between the previous three years and this year will be helpful in predicting your mid-term results. The goal here is not to just collect numbers; it’s to try to build a trend line for your district. The difference in State Aid gains per district that were gaining students and districts that lost students was almost a $25 difference per WADM. It is important to keep track of the changes.  

One other item that you might want to explore is the amount of ad valorem that can be expected this year versus last year’s allocation. We have been averaging almost a 4% growth annually since 2011. That doesn’t mean everyone is growing at the same rate. If your district is the beneficiary of a large growth in ad valorem, it is important to know if that was a real property, a personal property or a utility property growth. If it was a real property growth, that is traditionally a more stable form of revenue that will not depreciate, but the other two forms of growth may strongly recede in value over the years.  

If I can help you in any way please contact me.

Andy Evans

Director, Finance

Andy serves as the Finance Director for OPSRC. In this role, he provides help in financial and business-related areas for schools. This includes budgets, managing cash flow, Estimate of Needs, federal programs and general service to aid in the effective use of district resources. Additionally, Andy serves as a resource in customizing budget spreadsheets, projection sheets, and other financial tools essential to administrators in maintaining their district’s financial health.

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