Utica Community Schools receives excellent audit rating
Utica Community Schools receives excellent audit rating
Posted on 10/11/2016
A photo of the front page of the UCS Audit report

Utica Community Schools continues to meet the highest standards for its financial controls and accountability to taxpayers, according to auditors.

Donna Hanson, CPA and partner in the auditing firm of Plante Moran, said that for the 14th straight year, Utica Community Schools officials received “the highest level of assurance we can provide that the district’s financial statements are fairly stated” with an “excellent” rating.

“The district has a sound budget process in place,” Hanson said.

The firm awarded the district an “unmodified” opinion with no findings – which Hanson said illustrates the district has strong internal controls for its expenditures and meets all criteria for federal grants.

Hanson noted that the district’s strong financial reporting process has earned it a certificate of excellence from the Association of School Business Officials International for the fifth year.

“This year’s audit reflects the Board of Education’s commitment to meet our high expectations for fiscal integrity,” said Board of Education President Gene Klida.

The 2016-2017 audit reported that the district finished with $274 million in expenditures, with 81 percent of its costs directly supporting classroom instruction, including teachers, counselors and paraprofessionals. 

This year, 21 percent of the district’s overall budget – or $56.8 million – will go towards state-mandated retirement costs. This includes the State of Michigan’s contribution as restricted revenue to the retirement fund of $19.3 million.

Overall, revenues for the school district are $276.8 million, with 80 percent of the funding coming from the State of Michigan. This includes $5.5 million in one-time revenue through the sale of land.

Despite the district’s work to meet high accounting and reporting standards, Hanson noted that the redirection of school funding by state lawmakers presents continued challenges to UCS. 

 



 
Below are links for the 2016-17 audit:



“Utica Community Schools continues to be required to function in an extremely challenging fiscal environment,” she said.

UCS, like all Michigan districts, is dependent on the state for funding. The State of Michigan currently uses a 2X formula to allocate funding to Michigan school districts and charter schools, where lower funded, minimum foundation districts have received up to seven times more in revenue growth than UCS over the past ten years.

As a result, UCS has received an increase of only $60 per pupil since 2007 – or an average of $6 per pupil each year. This represents a less than one percent growth in per pupil revenue. During the same period, the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, has grown by nearly 20 percent.