Saline Area Schools get clean bill of health in audit from Plante Moran

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 10/25/2017 - 09:47
Saline Area Schools audit report slide on expenditures
A slide from accounting firm Plante Moran shows that, for each dollar the district spends, about 65 cents goes directly into classroom instruction.

The Saline Area Schools received a clean audit report from accounting firm Plante Moran during the Oct. 24 meeting of the board of education. The firm gave the school an "unqualified opinion," which CPA Jeff Dolowy said was the "highest level of assurance" that the school district's finances and financial records are in good order.

Dolowy noted that out of every $1 the district spends, about 65 percent goes directly to classroom instruction, and this percentage is in line with or above neighboring school districts, including Chelsea and Ann Arbor.

Dolowy also noted, however, that the district's general fund has not bounced back from the economic downturn of the last eight years. He noted that, while there was a $125,000 increase in the general fund in the 2016-17 budget, the fund total was still down $400,000 over the total from eight years ago.

"There's still a lot of recovery left for the general fund," Dolowy said.

In a press release, Supt. Scot Graden said the audit confirmed that the district is "moving in the right direction" financially.

"With the critical Sinking Fund and CARES Recreation Millage renewals coming up for a vote on Nov. 7, I think it is important that our community knows we are being fiscally responsible," Graden wrote. "This audit confirms that we are managing our resources effectively."

The board voted 7-0 to approve the audit report.

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Sarah Rigg
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. She has worked in community journalism for over 20 years covering education, business, arts & culture and other topics as a reporter, with experience in copy editing, layout, and proofreading.