The Greenville County School Board

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The Greenville County School Board’s Committee of the Whole agenda ranged from a report on the district’s finances to building projects on Tuesday. For a front row seat, see below:

District’s fund balance grows

Greenville County Schools’ reserve fund increased $11 million in fiscal year 2015, according to its annual outside audit.

Performed by Greene, Finney & Horton, the audit put the district’s unassigned fund balance on June 30 at $96.5 million, or 18 percent of budgeted expenditures in 2016.

The district received $4.2 million more from the state than it budgeted for 2015 and  $14.2 million more in property tax revenue was collected. At the same time, expenses came in $6.6 million under budget. About $4.7 million of that came in savings on non-personnel related expenses.

The district received an unmodified opinion for the audit, which deemed GCS in good financial condition as of June 30.

The school board asked for a graph of monthly fund balances for the last three years. Typically, this time of year is when the district’s fund balance is lowest because the majority of property owners pay their property taxes in December and January. Having an adequate fund balance allows the district to avoid issuing tax anticipation notes.

Student funds a source of fraud risk

The auditors said that while the district has “very reasonable” procedures in place for the administration of student activity funds, the funds were still one of the highest sources of fraud risk for the district, as is the case for most school districts.

Student activity funds inherently have little segregation of duties, limited review and approval and numerous parties receiving cash recipients. The auditors said trustees need to determine what level of risk the district is willing to live with. If cost-effective, the auditors suggest more segregation of duties, more review and approval and more centralization of cash receipts and disbursements.

School board chair Lisa Wells said a program being piloted at Woodmont High is allowing parents to pay student activity fees via electronic credit cards.

Architect chosen for Sara Collins addition

The board picked an architect for an addition to Sara Collins Elementary, but the firm’s identity won’t be revealed until after the selection becomes official at the board’s regular board meeting next Tuesday.

A 100-student addition to the school is expected to open in 2017.

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