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Ferndale School Board Accepts Audit Report of 2011-12 District Budget

The budget reflected a "rainy day fund" of $4,677,220.

Ferndale Board of Education members unanimously accepted an audit report at their regular meeting Monday night.

The audited financial statements are from independent auditors Yeo and Yeo for the 2011-2012 district budget.

Mari McKenzie, principal with Yeo and Yeo, P.C., CPAs and Business Consultants, said the audit found that the financial information was properly accounted for (an unqualified opinion), there were no findings in the areas of internal controls or compliance, and no management comments.

"Ferndale Public Schools has continued the tradition and demonstrated prudent fiscal management as it continues to position itself for the future," McKenzie said.

The district has had a balanced budget and has added to its fund balance every year since 2004, said Ferndale Schools executive finance director Maureen Adams.

"This has been during a time of declining and unreliable state funding," she said. "We have maintained a full-service school district demonstrating improvements in student achievement, supporting an award-winning music program, and ensuring no pay-to-play athletics."

The 2011-12 budget reflected $39,652,429 in revenue, and $39,271,091 in expenses, with a fund balance (or "rainy day fund") of $4,677,220.

Superintendent Gary Meier thanked Adams and her staff for their work to ensure a balanced budget for nearly 10 years.

"I just want to publicly thank her for her hard work and the hard work of her staff," Meier said.

"I don't do it all by myself," Adams said during the meeting. "It's a collaboration."

Board members also praised Adams. "I appreciate your hard work," said board president Keith Warnick.

Warnick said many other area districts have asked about Ferndale's budget and how Ferndale does it.

Board member Jim Pfleger it's "very, very unusual" to have a no-comment audit. "It speaks volumes to our staff," he said.

linda jackson October 18, 2012 at 02:56 AM
I would like to know how many staff members have been reduced building by building in the last few years to help create this huge rainy day fund. The middle school has been reduced to one counselor for the entire school, and one secretary. Why? The high school no longer has a dean of students or a full time college scholarship liason. Why? Coolidge has a 1/2 time counselor for the entire building. Why? How many other positions have been eliminated? Maybe Ferndale could pay our new teachers a little more! What is this huge rainy day fund for when the buildings have so many needs?
Robert Bokram October 19, 2012 at 09:41 PM
When I first joined the finance committee, I felt the same way....can't we use this money for operations? Our financial auditors and the state recommend that all districts create these equity funds to cover unplanned expenses and the state reimbursements that don't get issued until October. The standard is 15% of the annual budget...we're at 11%....not bad. Also, the monies that are added to the fund are split equally into three fund categories,,,vehicle repair, maintenance and computer expenses. We lost $470 per student this year and that represents a 13% reduction in state funding. If you are angry about staff reductions, focus your anger on our state legislature and Gov'nr Snyder, who has decided to raid the school aid fund for other spending priorities. The district has done a credible job minimizing the reduction in staff by cutting costs elsewhere.

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