State audits show declining fund balances in Florida school districts
Florida's 67 school districts had less money available for unexpected expenses at the end of fiscal 2014 than they had a year earlier, a recently released Florida Auditor General report shows.
Of those districts, five -- Clay, Gadsden, Liberty, Miami-Dade and Walton -- had "financial condition ratios" of less than 3 percent, according to the report. State law requires that districts report whenever their unrestricted general fund balance drops below 3 percent.
This was the report's primary significant financial trend:
"At June 30, 2014, school districts Statewide had an average level of general fund total assigned and unassigned fund balance that was 9.69 percent of general fund revenues (financial condition ratio), which is approximately 1 percentage point less than the average financial condition ratio for the previous fiscal year. Of the 67 school districts, 5 had ratios that were below 3 percent at June 30, 2014. In these circumstances, these 5 school districts had significantly fewer resources available for emergencies and unforeseen situations than the other school districts."
The agency attributed the declining balances to the end of stimulus and other federal funding. Variations in property values and student enrollment also can factor into the situation, the report stated.