Denton ISD sees decline in general reserve funds

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The Denton school district saw a decline of more than $3.7 million in its general reserve funds for the 2012-13 fiscal year after transferring more than $6 million out of reserves to cover future capital expenditures, according to an audit report to the school board this week.

The district finished the fiscal year on June 30, with more than $73.6 million in reserves to its general fund, which is the district’s primary operating fund.

Board President Charles Stafford said Thursday that overall “the district was very fiscally conservative” and that the community and district tax base are growing.

The audit was presented to the school board on Tuesday by Carl Deaton of Denton-based Hankins, Eastup, Deaton, Tonn & Seay, which conducted the audit. Deaton attributed the decline in reserves to the transfer of general funds to the district’s capital projects fund to be used for future capital replacement needs.

According to the audit report, other factors responsible for the change in reserves last fiscal year included an increase of more than $10.67 million in expenses, an increase of more than $3.7 million in property tax revenues and a decline of more than $3.6 million in state funding.

Deaton reported that the district was within the initial budget and amendments approved last fiscal year, with more than $192.7 million in general fund expenses.

But Deaton also told the board that the district is about $2 million below the optimum fund balance of $75.7 million for use in a case of emergency.

Superintendent Jamie Wilson Tuesday praised the efforts of the school board and business office in working “diligently to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

“This audit is one example of such stewardship,” he said.

In other action Tuesday, the school board unanimously approved the 2014-15 school calendar.

Wilson said the calendar is very similar to the current school calendar and that parents can expect to see the same breaks and holidays. School will start Aug. 25 and end June 4.

“We would like to finish the school year prior to Memorial Day, but that is not possible with the legislative mandate of when you start school, without infringing upon Thanksgiving break, holiday break,” Wilson said.

Michelle Duesman, president for the Denton Community Council of PTAs, said she likes that students get a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, rather than just two to three days off. It makes travel easier for families, she said.

Also at this week’s meeting:

The LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex was presented with a $15,000 grant from aluminum producer Alcoa. According to district officials, the funds will support certifications and scholarships for 200 students.

Buddy Dunworth, chairman of the Denton school district’s United Way campaign and assistant principal at McMath Middle School, presented United Way of Denton County officials with a contribution of $114,680.77. The contributions came from district employees, including $1,000 collected during fundraising drives at McMath and Myers middle schools, according to district officials. The donation was about $44,000 more than what was contributed last year and is the largest contribution made from the district campaign to the United Way in the past five years, Dunworth said.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

SCHOOL CALENDAR FOR 2014-15

Here are highlights of the Denton school district calendar for 2014-15 approved this week by the school board:

Aug. 25: School starts 

Sept. 1: Labor Day holiday

Oct. 13: Staff development day. No school for students. 

Nov. 24-28: Thanksgiving break

Dec. 19: First semester ends 

Dec. 22-Jan. 5: Winter break (campus staff development day/teacher preparation day slated for Jan. 5)

Jan. 6: Second semester begins

Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday 

March 16-20: Spring break 

April 3 and 6: Designated makeup days for inclement weather (if necessary)

May 25: Memorial Day holiday

June 4: Last day of classes

June 5: High school graduations at the University of North Texas Coliseum (Ryan High School, 11 a.m.; Denton High, 2:30 p.m. and Guyer High, 6 p.m.) 

Want more information?

To view the audit report, visit http://bit.ly/17tQpmy.  

To view the approved 2014-15 calendar, visit http://bit.ly/HYNewk.  


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