School News

Recovery funds help offset rising costs for Morgan County Schools, says treasurer

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County Board of Education’s financial situation continues to improve as additional federal and state COVID-19 recovery monies bolstered their finances this past year during Fiscal Year 2022.

Morgan County Schools Treasurer Ann Bell said that the school system is planning for how to sustain everything when those recovery and stimulus funds aren’t available in 2024. Bell presented her annual financial review at the September 20 school board meeting.

Net position

The school system’s total net position (assets minus liabilities) as of June 30, 2022 was $19,054,492, an increase of  $2,046,177 in net position from Fiscal Year 2021, Bell said in her report. Net position is the difference between everything the school system owns and what they owe.

This net position increase is attributable to increases in current assets,  decreases in the proportionate share of net pension and OPEB retirement benefits, liabilities and the inclusion of right-to-use assets. (leases)

Current and other assets increased by around $1,768,013,  due to operating grants, Medicaid reimbursements and the school activity fund.

COVID-19 funds

Morgan County Schools received $1,449,731 in COVID-19 recovery and federal stimulus monies in Fiscal Year 2022 and spent $1,418,314, Bell said.

Federal stimulus and COVID-19 recovery funding was spent on  child nutrition, student and staff hardware and software, Schoology, personal protective  equipment, nursing and custodial supplies,  classroom supplies,  and wifi/hotspots for students that don’t have internet access.

Less money was also used from the general expenditure fund for expenses because of the COVID-related funding and grants, Bell said. However, expenses rose across the board.

Carryover, other

The school system’s unreserved fund balance is $4,702,871, up from last year’s amount of $3,692,819.  The fund balance doesn’t include OPEB retirement benefits or pension liability, Bell said.

Actual spendable carryover with the encumbrances removed is $4,374,468, which represents 16% of the budgeted general fund revenue. The state now recommends that school districts keep funds to cover two months worth of operating expenses in reserve, Bell noted.

The $4,374,568 minus the budgeted carryover of $1,000,000 leaves $3,374,568 for contingency for emergencies, which is 12% of the budgeted general fund revenue, Bell said.

$4,374,568 less the budgeted carryover of $1,000,000 leaves
$3,374,568 for contingency. This represents 12% of the budgeted
general fund revenue, she said.

The fund balance of the Special Revenue Fund is $1,223,088.   The special revenue fund includes funding for Title 1, Title 2, child nutrition, special education, all grants and other federal funding.

The fund balance of the School Activity Fund is $58,270 and the fund balance of the Federal Stimulus & Stabilization fund is $0.

Capital assets

Capital assets for the school system decreased by approximately $230,251 to $13,719,912 from Fiscal Year 2021 due to the prior year purchase of land and the retirement of three school buses and two vehicles, Bell said.  Capital assets purchased this year include two school buses, a dump truck, cabling in all schools, a pressure washer and other equipment.

What’s new

The value of leases for buildings, land, vehicles and/or equipment was required to be added as right-of-use assets in the financial statement. The asset included the value of the initial lease less any payments. Bell said that their only leases involved copiers and postage machines.  These assets increased $105,385.

Bell said that Fund 65 or the School Activity Fund required more comprehensive reporting this year.  Accounts for all school level revenue/expenses are included in School Funds Online software and school level finances for Fund 65 are included on Governmental Statements.

Bell also has to keep intensive track of numerous grants and grant expenditures and the federal stimulus and COVID-19 recovery funding for the school system.

Long-term debt

The school board’s total debt includes their CMTA lease/purchase agreement for the county-wide energy management upgrades.  A payment of $298,367 was made in Fiscal Year 2022. Next year’s payment will be $256,035, Bell said.

Other debt includes a QZAB interest-free loan that was a local match for the Berkeley Springs High School Building C and D renovations.  A $66,666 QZAB loan payment for the Berkeley Springs High School renovations was made in Fiscal Year 2022 and a $66,666 payment is due next year.

Revenue and expenses

Total district-wide revenue for Fiscal Year 2022 was $27,747,530, with 35% of their revenue coming from unrestricted state aid, 38% from property taxes and 18% from operating grants and contributions, Bell said.   Operating grants and contributions increased by about $993,511-primarily from increased state and federal funding.

Revenue from unrestricted state aid decreased $2,805,454 from prior year special funding for pension liability. Property tax revenue increased by  around $478,937, mostly from increases in property values.

Total Fiscal Year 2022 district-wide expenditures were $25,701,352 with 52% spent on instruction, 40% used for total supporting services and 7% for food services, Bell said.  Supporting services include students, instructional staff, general and school administration, facilities operation and maintenance, central services, transportation and other support services.

The annual financial statement for the Morgan County Board of Education for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 is published in today’s edition of The Morgan Messenger. The financial statements were sent to the West Virginia Department of Education Office of School Finance for approval.