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School board OKs adding $467,576 to fund balance

Washington County Public Schools Chief Financial Officer says available fund balance for use is $11.7 million

September 15, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • South
South

The Washington County Board of Education this month unanimously approved fourth-quarter budget adjustments that added $467,576 to the school system's fund balance, Chief Financial Officer Chris South said.

The available fund balance for use is approximately $11.7 million, South said during the Sept. 6 school board meeting at the central office in Hagerstown. The fund balance is an accumulation of budget surpluses.

But school system Accounting Director David Brandenburg said in a telephone interview that the fund balance available for use is actually $11.8 million. That figure does not include portions of the fund balance that are already committed or reserved for particular purposes, such as a revolving loan fund for school-related activities, he said.

A $182,571 increase in revenue during the last fiscal year's fourth quarter was primarily from sales of assets, mainly school buses that were traded in, South said during the meeting.

The fiscal year ended June 30.

On the expense side, instructional salaries were $357,452 lower than expected because substitute costs were lower than anticipated, and there were several vacancies late in the fiscal year, according to South and presentation documents.

The school system added $248,329 for special education costs, primarily to meet student needs for a contracted deaf interpreter and private placements, South said.

School system officials used $123,133 in budget savings from other categories to reduce the backlog of deferred maintenance projects, South said.

Utility costs were down $183,122 due to a mild spring, he said.

Among the expenses that were higher than expected during the fourth quarter were school-based clerical wages, which resulted in an increased cost of $62,245, and the cost of the library collection for the new Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School, which resulted in a $6,995 increased cost, according to documents.

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