Behind the numbers
BY ALYSSA MEIER
With schools beginning to publish their financial reports for the 2016-17 school year, local administrators are shedding a little light on what large amounts of carryover are used for.
Washburn Public School Superintendent Brad Rinas likened general fund carryover to a sort of safety net for schools to fall back on when other income isn’t available.
“The school fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Property tax revenues do not start coming in until after January 1,” Rinas said. “To fund our operations from July to December we use the general fund carryover and the state foundation aid payment.”
Rinas said Washburn Public School, which carried a $1.25 million balance in the general fund over from the 2016-17 fiscal year, can use the carryover to pay for any unbudgeted expenditures.
“The two most common things that I can think of are being able to cover an unexpected expense and adding staff late in the summer,” Rinas said.
Rinas said the school saw an enrollment increase this fall, and that may mean adding additional staff that wasn’t budgeted for. He also stated that the school purchased a new bus during the year, which wasn’t anticipated initially.