The Lakota Board of Education approved the district’s Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) permanent appropriations at its Sept. 18, 2023 meeting. But what exactly are permanent appropriations? Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Adam Zink created a brief presentation to answer that question.
As we continue to expand our learning opportunities to prepare our students to successfully meet the demands of life after graduation, we are committed to aligning our resources to Lakota's educational priorities while ensuring financial stability.
WE will continue to be good stewards of our residents' tax dollars by operating a strategically aligned and efficient budget because fiscal responsibility is a top priority for the district;
WE will continue to monitor spending and re-prioritize dollars to enhance personalized student learning;
WE will continue to put the majority of our resources toward instruction, pupil support and instructional support; and
WE will continue to provide financial transparency to our community through annual publications like the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) and the Financial Prospectus.
Auditor of State Award: 9 Consecutive Years
Fewer than 5% of all government entities that are audited annually in Ohio earn the Auditor of State Award with Distinction – and Lakota has received the honor nine years in a row.
The criteria to receive the award includes:
- Complete an Annual Comprehensive Financial Report within six months of fiscal year end;
- Have a “clean audit” with no findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings or questioned costs; and
- Have no other financial concerns.
Lakota's audit is available on the Auditor of State's website.
Refinancing Saves Taxpayer Dollars; Increases Bond Ratings
Strong financial decisions made by the district during the last few years, including saving more than $6 million in interest expense due to recent refinancing of debt, have earned Lakota Local Schools one of the highest possible bond ratings of Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA+ by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
Lakota's Last Levy: 2013
The priorities for the November 2013 levy were shaped by the community's collective vision for the future of education. The identified areas aim to maximize the community's long-term investment in our schools by stretching the dollars to positively impact as many students as possible.
Budget Stabilization Policy
While Lakota’s budget stabilization policy sets a minimum ninety day cash balance, the forecast predicts the amount will exceed seven months at the end of Fiscal Year 2022, more than double the minimum set in policy.
10 Years of Balanced Budgets
Fiscal Year 2022 marks 10 consecutive years that Lakota has had a balanced budget. This decade of balanced budgets has enabled Lakota to build up very strong cash reserves.
These are just two examples of the district living up to the WE are Fiscally Responsible pillar of its strategic plan.
Lakota Local Schools has begun utilizing the Ohio Checkbook as yet another example of its pledge towards fiscal transparency. Fiscal Year 2023 data is now available with quarterly updates to follow.