Brown County School District put on financial watch - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Brown County School District put on financial watch

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Teacher working with a student Teacher working with a student
The financial report for the district The financial report for the district
Brown County was designated to financial watch Brown County was designated to financial watch
Brown County Middle School Brown County Middle School
The new computer server The new computer server
MOUNT STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) -

A year-end audit revealed the Brown County School District would be on the Illinois State Board of Education's financial watch list for 2018.

The district said they weren't surprised since improvements to security, computer systems and the heating and cooling system impacted the review.

In the last year, the Brown County School District has spent over $1 million in upgrades. One of the biggest is a new heating and cooling system, which teacher Erica Jensen said was much needed.

"Some days would be very hot, some days would be cold," Jensen said. "We would tell kids to make sure they brought a sweatshirt. Sometimes when it gets too hot, they loose their focus."

School board president Phillips Krupps said it's part of the plan.

"We felt the time was now to do those," Krupps said. "We want to make sure our school is a safe and healthy functioning facility. Unfortunately on ISBE's grading system, when your expenses exceed the revenue taken in, that's part of the downgrade that happens."

Krupps said there are still more improvements that need to be made at the high school, like a new electrical system. But with the district on the watch list, the board has to look at options when it comes to making those improvements."

"The rating does have some consideration," Krupps added. "But really and truthfully, we have to operate our school district like it's own entity. While I won't say regardless of what ratings come in, we have to do what's best for Brown County."

Upgrades to the schools computer servers and security system were also a part of the financial plan. Jensen said keeping students first should be a priority for the district.

"We have a difficult job as it is, and when you add factors like environment into that, it can be difficult," Jensen added. "There are definitely obstacles we have to overcome everyday."

Krupps said there's still a chance the rating could be changed base on a review by the Illinois State Board of Education that takes in account late funding payments from the state.


SCHOOL DISTRICT FINANCIAL PROFILE DESIGNATION EXPLAINED

  • If a district receives a score of 3.54 - 4.00, they are in the highest category of financial strength - Financial Recognition. These districts require little or no review or involvement by ISBE unless requested by the district.
  • If a district receives a score of 3.08 - 3.53, they are in the next highest financial health category of Financial Review. Districts in this category will be given a limited review by ISBE, but they will be monitored for potential downward trends. Staff will be assessing the next year’s school budget for negative trends.
  • If a district receives a score of 2.62 - 3.07, they are placed in the category of Financial Early Warning. ISBE will be monitoring these districts closely and offering proactive technical assistance (e.g., financial projections and cash flow analysis, etc.) These districts will also be reviewed to determine whether they meet the criteria set forth in Article 1A-8 of the School Code to be certified in financial difficulty and possibly qualify for a Financial Oversight Panel.
  • If a district receives a score of 1.00 - 2.61, they are in the highest risk category of Financial Watch. As with the Financial Early Warning districts, ISBE will be monitoring these districts very closely and offering them technical assistance including, but not limited to, financial projections, cash flow analysis, budgeting, personnel inventories, and enrollment projections. These districts will also be reviewed to determine whether they meet criteria set forth in Article 1A-8 of the School Code to be certified in financial difficulty and qualify for a Financial Oversight Panel.

You can find more details on school district financial profile designations below: 

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