A recent annual financial health report shows the financial situation at Clay Central-Everly schools to be on the rise.
According to the report's executive summary:
- Fiscal Year 2012 showed improvement in five of the ten ratios identified to best predict the financial health for Iowa K-12 schools.
- Assets exceed liabilities for the first time in five years.
- Until this year, certified enrollment was trending in the right direction.
- General fund balance is up from $550,097 to $628,363.
- The Day's Net Cast Ratio increased from zero to 81 days. The ideal Day's Net Cast Ratio is 90 days.
- Student transportation ratio is up due to a bus purchase, a shared transportation director and salary.
- Unspent balance is once again positive.
The unspent balance ratio is the figure primarily used to determine a school's financial health. In 2010, the unspent balanced dipped to a low -21.13 percent, showing a negative of $751,413. In the past five years, the unspent balance has only shown a positive number once, in 2008. Even then, the amount only hovered over $24,000, about 0.55 percent. An ideal percent of unspent balance is 10 to 15 percent.
"It relieves a lot of pressure," CC-E Superintendent Dennis McClain said. "You want to have the fund available for the unplanned things that come up."
This year's unspent balance showed the highest of the five-year trend at 5.84 percent, or $239,894.
A large factor in the growth of the unspent balance for the upcoming year is the allowable growth, which is still undecided by the state legislature.
"It makes it more difficult to build up the unspent balance when your expenses go up," McClain said. "As we start to plan things, and we get zero and 2 percent allowable growth, the added money is still far below the expenditures."
Should the allowable growth fall below the expected 4 percent expense increase, McClain said the district will have to take a "selective" look at their expenditures.
"We'll have to look at what we'll be reducing, to cover the shortfall," he said.
This year's enrollment numbers will also play a factor in next year's spending authority.
"This year we took a dip. It'll be a factor," McClain said. "A lot of districts in Iowa are dealing with declining enrollment."
He continued. "When you take a drop, it means less funding. And then you add a zero percent allowable growth."
While future numbers are uncertain, McClain is optimistic about the future for CC-E's financial situation.
"Overall, as we look back at last year, and the five-year trend, things are trending up," he said. "Things are looking better."