The past year saw increases in per-pupil funding, general fund reserves and student enrollment, according to the Cherry Creek School District's most recent financial report.
That was part of the positive financial snapshot that emerged during a comprehensive presentation by Chief Financial Officer Guy Bellville during the Cherry Creek Board of Education's regular meeting held Nov. 10 at Laredo Middle School in Aurora. The comprehensive annual financial report included updates regarding the district's investments, deposits, credit ratings and recent borrowing.
What's more, Bellville highlighted the fact that a recent audit by independent firm CliftonLarsonAllen, L.L.P. yielded an unqualified opinion regarding financial accounting or reporting from the district.
That accounting revealed a detailed and careful analysis of the district's finances, a picture that offered plenty of positive highlights. Among the most important was the solid year of tax collection on the $25 million mill levy budget override passed by the voters in 2012. Those collections saw lower abatements and refunds than previous years.
In addition, per-pupil funding from the state increased by about $175 for every student, and general fund reserves increased to about $10.2 million. Those increases came along with an addition in enrollment of about 903 students. Approximately 50.2 percent of the general fund revenues for the 2013-14 year came from the state; about 48.4 percent came from property taxes; and less than 2 percent came from other sources.
"It will continue to be necessary to adjust financial, capital and human resources to maintain a balanced budget," Bellville said.
That kind of careful accounting is at the heart of the board's approach to managing the finances of a district of more than 54,000 students.
"Intentional financial transparency is a commitment for us and for Mr. Bellville's department," said board member Karen Fisher.
That commitment shows in a long string of awards and recognition. The Cherry Creek School District Office of Fiscal Services has received the Government Finance Officers Distinguished Budget Presentation Certificate of Achievement for more than 20 year and the Association of School Business Officers Meritorious Budget Certificate of Excellence annually since 1997.
The Cherry Creek School District has been honored by the Association of School Business Officials International as one of only 23 school districts nationwide to receive the Meritorious Budget Certificate of Excellence for at least 15 consecutive years. The award recognizes school entities that demonstrate excellence and transparency in school budget presentation.