The Norman Public School District is committed to being exemplary, conservative stewards of the taxpayers' funds and operating with the highest level of transparency. The district is a two-time winner of the state's Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting Award for schools. Brenda Burkett leads the department and has also served as the Association of School Business Officials International President.
NPS Financial Services, 405.366.5801
Brenda Burkett, CPA, SFO, Chief Financial Officer
Janine Warren, Coordinator, Accounting/Accounts Payable
School Finance 101
Understanding school finance is often difficult. "School Finance 101" provides information about revenues, expenditures, and the impact of State Funding on the district's budget.
Funds that are appropriated by the State Legislature to support education are referred to as state aid. The amount of state aid a district qualifies for is based primarily on student headcount and attendance, with a few other factors weighed into the calculation, such as the number of students with special needs, or those who are bilingual, gifted or economically disadvantaged. For many districts, state aid represents a large portion of the overall budget.
Local and county sources = 30%
Primarily property taxes, also includes:
- Investment and rental income
- Local grants and partnerships
Federal sources = 10%
- Title I (No Child Left Behind)
- IDEA (Special Ed)
State Aid = 39%
- Formula based on number of students
Line Items and State Dedicated = 19%
- Gross production tax
- Motor vehicle tax
- School land earnings
- Rural electric cooperative tax
State line items
- Textbook allocation
- Employee health insurance
- Specific state programs and reform measures
Enrollment and Attendance
How Each Dollar Is Spent
Funds, Revenue Sources and Uses
GENERAL FUND: Local and county taxes, state aid, dedicated state revenue, federal program reimbursement, other reimbursements.
Uses: Payroll, transportation, supplies, materials, furniture, equipment, textbooks, general operating expenses.
BUILDING FUND: Local and county taxes.
Uses: Repair and maintenance of facilities, furniture, equipment, utilities, custodial
CHILD NUTRITION FUND: Student and staff lunch purchases, state and federal reimbursements.
Uses: Food, payroll, supplies and equipment.
BOND FUNDS: Sale of bonds after voter approval.
Uses: Construction projects, furniture, equipment, uniforms, textbooks, school buses, etc.
ACTIVITY FUNDS: Student activities, fundraisers, vending commissions, donations
Uses: Student activities, supplies, materials, equipment, refreshments.
SINKING FUND: Local taxes after voter approval of bonds.
Uses: Bond principal and interest payments
GIFT FUND: Restricted grants from privates sources.
Uses: As specified in grant.
SANCTIONED PARENT GROUPS (not district money): Fundraisers, donations, dues.
Uses: Support of student and school activities (wider latitude than activity fund).
What is a Fund Balance?
The "unencumbered" or "available" balance of funds at the end of a fiscal year. This is also referred to as a carryover or surplus.
WHY IS A FUND BALANCE NECESSARY?
- To pay operating expenses during the first half of the year before the majority of ad valorem taxes are collected.
- To meet any unanticipated expenses.
- To help fund budgets if planned expenditures exceed anticipated revenues (e.g. funding cliff when one-time revenue sources are not replaced or operating expenses are anticipated to increase for reasons such as a new school opening).
Recession and Recovery
Impact on education funding
- The recession of 2008 greatly impacted state revenues and jeopardized public education.
- The federal government responded in 2008-2009 by providing one-time supplemental funding for Title I (disadvantaged) and IDEA (special ed.) programs.
- Further federal assistance was afforded to states in 2009-2010 in the form of fiscal stabilization and education jobs funding to retain jobs and "fill the hole" in funding.
- Once exhausted, one-time federal stimulus money was not replaced by state funding, creating a "funding cliff" in 2012-2013.
- Per pupil funding to the state aid formula has been cut more deeply in OKlahoma than any other state since 2008.
District Revenue Limitations
- Any growth in local taxes is deducted from state aid.
- Any growth in dedicated state revenue (e.g. motor vehicle collections, gross production tax, school land earnings) is deducted from state aid.
- Grants and donations are usually specific in purpose and are not intended for operating expenses.
- Money from other funds (e.g. building fund, child nutrition fund, bond funds) is restricted in the ways it can be spent.
Legal Borrowing Methods
- Non-payable warrants
- Similar to overdraft protection
- Short-term cash flow solution
- Lease-purchase agreements
- lease which transfers ownership of asset at end of term
- Requires 60% approval by voters
- Restricted to capital expenditures
- At least 85% of proceeds must be spent on projects listed in the bond resolution approved by voters
- Bond proceeds and interest earnings cannot be used to pay salaries, benefits or related costs
- Non-payable warrants