October is a critical financial month for schools. Checking the first quarter statistical report and the October child count is of utmost importance. The trends between the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 indicate that there is added value in making sure that every student is counted in each category. If the district you work in is coming off its high year, this makes going through the data even more important. This is your opportunity to make sure you are checking your counts and ensuring that an accurate census of your district is completed and reflected for the purposes of State Aid.
If you haven’t checked your estimate of needs, now would be a good time to complete this task. A good look at your allocations and your expenditures could keep problems from arising later. If you are not certain of using the estimate of needs for this record check, contact me or the person who prepared your estimate of needs and go over the document. The most important thing in this check is to make sure that all your spending will be within your allocations. It is also wise to look at the personal property portion of your district's valuation to check the appreciation or depreciation of the district's personal property. This can help to alleviate issues in future budgeting activity.
A comparison of federal program allocations to expenditures is also important at this time of year: check the amount of federal program allocations against your estimate of needs. The most common mistake in managing allocations is to go over the allocation in Child Nutrition. This is extremely easy to do if you have added staff, made a major purchase or did a bona fide loan agreement in the previous year and spent down the Child Nutrition balance forward.
If you need help in any of these areas please feel free to contact me at email@example.com, and we will set a time to work through your questions.
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