The Edmond Sun

June 28, 2013

Deer Creek’s General Fund balance low

Patty Miller
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Deer Creek Public School’s General Fund revenue is not as healthy as he would like to see it, Bill White, temporary finance adviser for the district, told Deer Creek School Board members during the June board meeting.

At the end of May, the 11th month of the fiscal year, White said the estimate on the fund balance is $240,000, which is the same as last year.

The collection of General Fund revenue is at $24.5 million, or 101 percent of the estimate. The encumbered total is $24.1 million.

White told board members the estimate of June receipts will exceed $1.5 million, but the estimated fund balance will still remain in the $1.7 million range, down about $600,000 from last year at this time.

“At best this year we might go into carry forward with $400,000,” White said. “Therefore, the ending number may be a little bit better than we are projecting with the goal to hold flat or maybe gain a little. We can’t keep dipping into the fund.”

General fund monies go toward teachers’ salaries and materials.

“We (were) going to the bargaining table this Thursday,” Deer Creek Superintendent Rannet Tippens said.

Tippens said with 300 new students coming to the district when the fall 2013 term begins, they will be bringing about $1 million with them in state funding.

Bond monies go for construction costs, repair, renovation and replacement of existing buildings, facilities’ furniture, fixtures and equipment and buses.

Ad valorem money will start coming to the district in January, White said. This is money that will go into the General Fund.

“We continue to build the FY14 budget with the plan to maintain that fund balance intact for the following year,” White said.

The past two years districts have been spending into their “carry forward” money left in the General Fund, Tippens said.

“It is important to have a strong carry forward,” Tippens said, “because the General Fund monies do not come to us until mid-term in January. The goal is to be able to pay the first two month’s salaries and a month’s salary for Deer Creek is right at $1.9 million.  

“A healthy carry forward is from 7 to 14 percent, but we would like to get back to an 11 percent carry forward. Right now it is about 7 percent. Eleven percent would be a carry over of $2.75 million.”

Tippens said Deer Creek is fortunate to have a strong Deer Creek Foundation as well as strong parental support.

“Activity accounts are strong because they are, in essence, donation sites,” Tippens said.

Tippens said any growing district has to deal with these problems.

“By the time the General Fund catches up the buildings are full and you have to build new buildings,” she said.

The other funds are making good progress and no real problems are anticipated, White told board members.

“The Building Fund shows total collection of $1.7 million. The encumbered amount is $1.46 million,” White said.

“Thursday as we close out the accounts we will have a more accurate picture of the General Fund balance,” Tippens said.