Quarterly Newsletters 17/18 Fourth Quarter Newsletter - Page 12

12

NMPED Update

School Budget &

Finance Analysis Bureau

Negative Operational Fund Balances

There are still far too many school districts and charter schools ending the fiscal year with a negative Operational Fund cash balance (i.e. fund balance on a cash basis). As has been discussed in multiple previous communications, running negative in the Operational Fund is unallowable due to restricted use of other funds under the law. Pooled cash does not equal pooled fund availability. Beginning in fiscal year 2018-2019 (FY19) PED School Budget and Finance Analysis Bureau staff will begin forwarding school district and charter school business officials that are the official of record to the PED Office of General Counsel for licensure investigations if school districts and charter schools close the year in a negative position as this is a violation of any number of laws, including the Public School Finance Act.

Internship Program

PED has been exploring ways to expand opportunities to new graduates within the field of education finance. Communications have begun with the NMASBO board that is in-line with other discussions at the board level about expanding access to the profession. Beginning in July of 2019, the School Budget and Finance Analysis Bureau will begin gauging the interest of school districts or charter schools with hiring summer interns from in-state accounting programs – in preparation for an FY20 roll-out. Beginning in July, please contact your Executive Budget Analyst if you would be interested in this opportunity. Whether or not they would be paid internships is still being explored.

School-level Per Pupil Expenditures

Since Spring Budget Workshop, there have been numerous developments impacting the proposed uniform guidance for school-level per pupil expenditures calculation. In collaboration with a community of practice of other states, the United States Department of Education (USDE), and other federal contractors, PED staff have been informed that proposed federal regulations requiring a uniform state procedure has been repealed by the Congressional Review Act. This will lessen the burden to school districts to conform to a state-mandated calculation. This also means the final guidance will allow more flexibility to school districts to determine what costs to allocate to the school level. These new developments will likely limit comparisons across school districts of reported amounts, but will also serve to ease the burden of implementation. PED will still issue guidance becausethe presentation of amounts in district (LEA) level report cards will be uniform. Stakeholder feedback received to date will still be invaluable in determining final guidance.