COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Independent School District released its fiscal year 2012 audit this month, receiving a clean financial bill of health for the second consecutive year.
The annual audit is required by the Texas Education Agency. This year, the district received a clean opinion, meaning the district was in-line with standard accounting practices.
“We had no findings this year either,” said Robert Edmonson, the district’s executive director of business services. “We are very pleased with the audit.”
The audit not only shows that the district is using proper procedures, but also that it provides detailed information on where and how it got and spent money during the fiscal year.
Some of that data includes the amount of state and federal aid the district received. For fiscal year 2012, the district received about $40.5 million in state funding — about $4 million less than last year.
That drop was due to a widely publicized $4 billion cut to education funding approved by state lawmakers two years ago. Many districts, including CCISD, struggled with the cuts as they prepared their budgets for fiscal year 2012.
“That’s a $4 million cut even though we gained 100 students that year,” Edmonson said.
The audit’s data also tells the story of how the district is able to offset those cuts for the current school year, in large part by using money from its fund balance.
According to the audit, the district saw a $5.1 million increase to its general fund at the end of the 2011-12 school year. It cites efficiency measures taken by the district as the primary reason for the increase.
“We spent less than we took in and used it to help us this year,” he said. “Having that healthy fund balance is what has kept us alive.”
Even though that money has been able to keep the district from having to make draconian cuts to staff and programs, Edmonson said dipping into the fund balance too often could take its toll.
With cuts to state and federal funding again a possibility for the 2013-14 school year, Edmonson said the district is already in the early stages of planning next year’s budgets, and keeping a careful eye on developments in Austin and Washington, D.C. “We are continually planning, and keeping in contact with our representatives as we move forward.”
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.