Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
YEAR ON POSITIVE NOTE FINANCIALLY
Elmbrook Schools recently closed the financial books for the 2007-08 fiscal year with auditing firm Feld Schmacher presenting results of the financial audit to the Finance and Operations Committee of the Board of Education.
The audit showed that overall the district added to its fund balance as a result of less than anticipated expenditures, despite a slight decrease in revenues. Elmbrook Schools spent $1.16 million or 1.4% less than the budget of $82 million.
Contributing factors included savings in the areas of health and dental insurance, substitute teachers, custodial staffing and legal services. These expenditure levels were offset by added expenses such as electricity and equipment.
The favorable outcome of the fiscal year meant the district was able to add $795,772 more than anticipated to its fund balance or reserves. Total reserves as of June 30, 2008 were $21,016,167. The end-of-year fund balance is used to provide funds to cover expenses incurred at the start of the next year until property taxes are received in January. The district uses these reserves to pay the bills through November when it has to borrow funds short term to cover expenses until January.
In addition to using the district fund balance to cover current expenses, the Board of Education determined this summer that the fund balance had grown to a size that allows the use of some of the money to pay for capital improvements. This year a portion of these funds will be used to replace the HVAC system at Pilgrim Park Middle School, resulting in a reduction of the fund balance by the end of this year.
While the end of year fiscal news was positive, the district continues to face state-imposed revenue caps. With enrollment projected to decline, revenue caps result in the district having less available funds to pay for increasing expenses. This makes it necessary for the district to engage in an intensive long-term financial planning process, which is currently underway.