Audit: D45 adds $861,820 to fund balance

  • Barnwell District 45 School Board Chairman Dr. Rhett Richardson presents a certificate of appreciation to Pastor Bobby Dukes and Shanikia Dukes from Ned Branch Baptist Church for their church’s involvement in the schools.

Barnwell District 45 received an early Christmas gift in the form of a positive audit report.

For the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, the district added $861,820 to its fund balance for the general fund, which is the district’s largest operating fund. They now have $3,525,525 in reserves, which is enough money to cover three months’ worth of expenses, said David Enzastiga from the Rish & Enzastiga firm during the school board’s Dec. 14 meeting.

“The increase is attributed to an increase in the base student cost, and the provision of funds for students in poverty by the state,” according to the audit report.

On the revenue side, the district brought in $17,412,137, which is $400,138 more than budgeted. This is mostly attributed to an increase in local revenue.

Meanwhile, expenditures were $420,480 less than District 45 planned to spend. Expenditures totaled $17,111,084 for the fiscal year, according to the audit report.

The district’s food service fund ended the year with a net income of $56,769, which is better than the $11,482 net income from the previous year.

Enzastiga said the district’s participation in the Community Eligibility Program, which provides free lunches to all students due to the district’s poverty level, has led to more money. While proceeds of the sale of meals have gone from $130,628 last year to $59,529 in 2017, District 45 received $1,445,643 in USDA reimbursements for 2017 compared to $1,264,681 in 2016.

District 45 ended the 2017 fiscal year with two outstanding general obligation bonds totaling $1,413,000. This is less than the $2,400,000 the district had at the beginning of that fiscal year.

Recognition

Pastor Bobby Dukes and his wife Shanikia accepted a certificate on behalf of their church, Ned Branch Baptist Church, for the church’s involvement in the district’s schools.

The church has adopted District 45 and regularly gives back, including by giving bags of supplies to teachers at the beginning and providing candy during National Education Week.

“This is our way of serving Christ by serving y’all,” said Pastor Dukes.

“We are so glad to have people like you in our community,” said board member Felicia Devore.

Chairman Dr. Rhett Richardson expressed his appreciation to all faith-based groups that help the schools.

In other news:

• The Aiken Standard newspaper presented a check to Barnwell High School. The money was the school’s portion of a revenue sharing plan the newspaper did this fall. With the support of sponsors and advertisers, the newspaper covers the cost of production to video games and then donates a percentage back to the schools covered in broadcasts.

• The board approved an overnight field trip for the fourth grade talented and gifted students to go to Earthshine Discovery Center to learn about early American colonists and Native Americans.

• The board approved the transfer requests of three students to attend D45 schools.

• Sarah Lestrud, a language facilitator at Barnwell Primary, and Asher Dickerson, a bus driver, were introduced as new employees.

• The board approved the monthly personnel report, which included the resignations of Dana Perry and LaSheena Williams as food service operators at the primary school. Food service operator Jennifer Timms was listed as moving from part-time status to full-time.

• Guinyard-Butler Middle School STEM lab teacher Susan Gardner and high school Career and Technology Education teacher Stephen Andrews gave a presentation on the STEM/STEAM curriculum at their schools. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

• The board approved the second and final readings of five policies: Policy BE (School Board Meetings), Policy IKADD (Content and Credit Recovery), Policy IKA-R (Grading Assessments Systems, Administrative Rule), Policy JFAB (Non-Resident Students), and an administrative rule for JFAB.

• Following a closed session to discuss a student appeal and employment matters, the board returned to open session where they voted to uphold the student discipline recommendation for “Student A”.