School Committee Adopts New Fiscal Policies

School Committee adopts new policies, fiscal controls for student activity accounts, to ensure accountability and conformance with other fiscal policies.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Charles Obremski made a brief presentation for the full School Committee on Monday night, related to proposed new policies and procedures for managing student activity accounts in the school district, which would be in keeping with accounting principles and ensure accountability of student advisors and those managing student activity accounts.

According to Obremski, the new policies and procedures were developed by Mark Abraham, a fiscal consultant, who has expertise in helping school districts and municipalities ensure sound fiscal practices in their operations.

Under the new policy, student activity accounts will have several requirements that must be met annually in order for the accounts to be continued. In cases where the purposes of the student activity accounts have expired – such as an account for the activities of a graduated class – the funds can be redistributed among the active student activity accounts to help defray costs such as auditing and record keeping.

The new policy outlines basic common sense rules, such as “funds must be expended for the benefit of students,” but also goes further to limit the amount of money that can be held in any one account, require annual approval of each student activity account by the School Committee, require accounts cannot be maintained in deficit, require annual audits and that all payments made by student activity accounts follow the same accounting processes and procedures that all other school accounts must follow.

Financial reports must be submitted to the School Committee at least annually and bank reconciliations of all accounts must occur at least quarterly, but is recommended monthly.

According to Obremski, in the review of the Student Activity Accounts system in the Everett schools, the consultant found that there were a total of 78 sub-accounts, including three (3) that were in deficit as of June 30, 2015 and 11 new accounts that had no balance at all. As of November 30, all of the accounts had been taken out of deficit. The total balance of al 78 accounts as of June 30, 2015 was $84,869.

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