Dare school board’s audit good

Published 10:46 pm Monday, January 3, 2022

Dare County Board of Education received a clean, unmodified opinion for its June 30, 2021 audit.

The audit was delivered by Paul Carson, a partner in the firm of Anderson Smith & Wike PLLC, of Rockingham, at the board’s Dec. 14, 2021 meeting. The firm audits 65 school districts.

Unmodified opinions were entered for financial statements and federal and state awards. No material weaknesses or significant deficiencies were identified.

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Carson stated that the financial statements are reliable and free of any material misstatement.

Revenue in the school system’s major funds totals $65,799,386. The General Fund accounts for Dare County’s contribution, $23,230,449. The Public School Fund shows revenue from North Carolina at $34,394,398 and United States Government at $675,912. Federal grants total $2,323,488. Capital outlay at June 30, 2021 was $2,772,394. Added to the total are other current expenses at $1.34 million and individual school accounts at $609,866.

On the General Fund balance sheet, the unassigned fund balance is $3,234,942.

Carson made special note about this fund balance. He reminded the board about what school districts experienced in 2008-09. Fund balances increased and in 2013 when stimulus funding went away, those balances decreased.

Dare’s fund balance increased by $1.6 million due to cost savings and using COVID-19 relief funding to pick up increased costs.

“It’s important to have funds in reserve for when federal relief funds go away in a few years.” said Carson, who explained that costs are rising rapidly. He said to have increased cash reserves “is a wise financial strategy right now.”

Board chairman Joe Tauber asked how much is enough and Carson said he would check in with other districts and deliver that information to the Dare board.

The system’s school food service program, one of two proprietary accounts, finished at June 30, 2021 with a profit, $510,189. The auditor noted USDA contributions to free meals, salary declines and less use because of remote learning contributed to the new bottom line. Carson said “the program appears to be improving operationally.”

The After School Enrichment Program also turned a profit of $30,506.

The 2020-21 Dare County Board of Education audit presented Dec. 14, 2021 is available online at daretolearn.org under the button for the Finance Department.

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