D-45 ‘thankful’ for clean financial audit

An annual audit of Barnwell District 45's finances yielded no surprises in what was a tough budget year.
"It's a very clean audit," said David Enzastiga, a certified public accountant, to the school board Nov. 15.
The main thing Enzastiga emphasized is the district's fund balance, which was $3,284,712 as of June 30. This is a decrease of $827,641 from the previous year.
Enzastiga said the amount is about a month less than the three months worth of cash he recommends having on hand. "Going forward you want to be a little more conservative so you don't go down anymore," he said.
Shirley Kitchings, the district's chief financial officer, said she wishes they could do that, but cited tough economic circumstances, such as reduced government funding. She said their fund balance is still well above the one month required by their district policy.
Kitchings cited how they had to use some of their fund balance in recent years to balance the budget, including in the last fiscal year to prevent a millage increase. It helped fill the gap between the $14,799,984 in revenue and $16,650,949 in expenditures.
"We did everything we could" to prevent a millage increase, though they had to raise it this current fiscal year - the first time in five years, said Kitchings.
Overall, the audit shows "we're doing what we're supposed to do," said Kitchings. "We're in compliance with all federal guidelines."
"We appreciate the hard work," said board member Valenda Black of the finance staff and Enzastiga.
In other news:
The board unanimously approved the second and final readings of two board policy revisions, which Superintendent Roy Sapough said were "minor."
Changes to Policy GCQA, which pertains to the procedure for a staff reduction, include the addition of three considerations when determining who to let go. An employee's length of service in the district, if they are "highly qualified" as determined by the No Child Left Behind Act, and that performance evaluations can be written or oral, according to the revised policy.
It also adds a statement about how the district should contact terminated employees if their position is added back within two years.
Policy JFAB, relating to non-resident students, had some revisions in wording and order.
During the student showcase portion of the meeting, fourth graders from Barnwell Elementary got the board and audience in the Thanksgiving mood by reading papers they wrote on what they are thankful for and presenting an interactive Thanksgiving song they helped choreograph.
The students were: Dhruv Patel, Tori Boyles, Lindsey Rhoad, Latham Boone, Makenzie Williams, Luke Moody, Justyn Ingram, Cameron Porter, Nyasia Jackson, Jordyn Twitty, Rebekah Richardson, Alexis Ray and Ja' Niesha Coleman. They were assisted by fourth grade teachers Phyllis Bryan, S.D. Moore, Holly Abbott and music teacher Renee Owens.
A special-called board meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. in the conference room of the district's administration building to discuss the superintendent's annual evaluation.