Question: Why does your chart show the fund balance as $83 million when the audited financials show it as being $100 million?
Answer: The $100 million reported in the 2012 CAFR includes $17 million in Capital Projects. Removing the Capital Projects allows for an accurate historical comparison of the General Fund’s growth and provides a valid comparison to the General Fund balances in other school districts.
The charts above show how the Capital Projects Fund goes up after successful elections (years 2003 and 2006, resulting in increases to the Capital Projects Fund in years 2004 and 2007) and is spent down to support the capital needs and also how the inclusion of these funds distorts the historical analysis of the General Fund balance.
The 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report states, “For FY 2011-2012, the Capital Projects Fund is included as a sub fund of the General Fund and is reflected on page 76 and 77 as part of the combined general fund. Policy has been refined to define any fund that is largely supported by transfers from the general fund as sub-fund of the combined general fund.” Prior years’ financial numbers are restated in order to add the Capital Projects Fund (Fund 21 and Fund 43) to the Combined General Fund (refer to footnote on page 75 of FY2012 CAFR).
The primary funding source for the Capital Projects Fund has changed over the last few years due to the failure of recent bond and mill levy overrides (this is why the change has been made to include Capital Projects in the Combined General Fund). Including Capital Projects in the Combined General Fund distorts the historical trend data since the funds available in the Capital Projects Fund fluctuate significantly due to bond elections.
Including the Capital Projects Fund in the Combined General Fund Balance distorts the historical analysis of the General Fund Balance. Therefore, we have removed it from all years in order to make a true “apples to apples” comparison across prior years and with other school districts that do not include Capital Projects in the calculation of their General Fund Balance.
As you can see from the charts, the general fund balance has grown significantly (more than quadrupled) since 2008 without a successful mill or bond election.