Hemlock, MI – Over the last several years, Hemlock Public School District has made significant strides with sound fiscal management. The school district has moved from a place of being perpetually financially unhealthy to a place recommended by the Michigan Association of School Boards and Michigan School Business Officials on par with peer districts and those across the State of Michigan.
Recently, the district had completed its annual independent audit, which was conducted by the accounting firm of Weinlander Fitzhugh.
School finance is a complex environment not often easily understood because unlike business, governmental, or school accounting usually involves different funding streams with varying requirements of spending. A school district relies on a general fund balance as a safety net for operation and to make payroll.
Board Treasurer Jamie Rivette said, “The district’s efforts to turn around its finances have placed Hemlock Public Schools on sound financial ground. Our financial health is a great accomplishment, particularly because the district will save money by not having to borrow funds to pay our deserving educators and valued team members. We are thankful to our supporting community and the teamwork of our many employees that have worked so hard to push the dial in the right direction. We look forward to continuing our financial health in the upcoming years.”
The 2020-2021 audit was presented with no findings and unmodified opinion, which is the best audit possible and praise for the district's business practices and business staff.
The auditors noted that for three school years in a row the school district did not need to borrow, to be able to make payroll sometime during the school year. This was a first in recent history, but now with solid practices and procedures in place it is becoming more of a trend with the district not borrowing for 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school year.
It should be noted that borrowing is relatively common in K-12 public education in the State of Michigan, but not desired as it requires a school district to pay interest and redirect dollars that otherwise could be spent on educating children. Not borrowing to make payroll will generate savings between $9-25k per year for Hemlock Public School District.
Superintendent Killingbeck said, “Hemlock Public School District is committed to putting our students first and foremost, which requires sound fiscal practices and maximizing our limited resource allocations. This is just another shining example of the leadership and vision of the Hemlock Public School District Board of Education. We are investing in professional development, curriculum, and staffing to ensure the best outcomes for our students”
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