By Deb Henton
Congratulations to Director of Finance and Human Resources Randi Johnson, and the accounting team here at North Branch Area Public Schools for again earning a School Finance Award from the Minnesota Department of Education.
MDE presents these awards to school districts annually. Criteria for being chosen includes timely submission of financial data and compliance with Minnesota statutes, presence of select indicators of fiscal health, and accuracy in financial reporting.
For those of you who may not know, the school district is audited annually by an independent accounting firm. Year after year, those audits come back clean and the work of the school district praised for thoroughness and accuracy. If you are interested in reviewing that work, annual school district financial statements going back over a decade can be found at the district’s website (isd138.org/page/3101).
The staff at NBAPS responsible for safeguarding district finances play an incredibly important role in education. School finance law is highly complex and missteps can be costly. It requires seasoned staff with a deep understanding of the myriad rules and requirements. When district funds are improperly utilized, or rules ignored, those most deeply affected are often students and taxpayers.
Though they don’t have much contact with the student body, the exemplary job our financial staff does ensures that teachers will have the supplies they need, buildings will have heat, buses will have fuel, and a thousand other details will be taken care of. The work they do has an indirect role in every student success, and the efficiencies they create allow the school district to “do more with less” each and every year, as our taxpayers demand.
Taking excellent care of the funds provided the school district is another way North Branch Area Public Schools takes its job as stewards of the community’s tax dollars very seriously. Thank you for your continued support for our students!