IBJNews

IPS says outside audits confirm budget surplus

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two outside financial audits confirmed what Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee declared in March: IPS has been operating with a surplus rather than a deficit.

The audits—conducted at Ferebee’s request by the State Board of Accounts and the Council for Great City Schools—confirmed that IPS had a surplus last year of $8.4 million. By contrast, IPS reported a $30 million deficit in early 2013, when the district was under the leadership of interim superintendent Peggy Hinckley.

The different conclusions came because IPS budgeted expenditures for 2013 that were nearly $40 million higher than what the district actually spent. And, according to Ferebee, the district did not do any reconciliation between its projections and its actual spending.

“This also confirms that the budget deficits were a longstanding district practice,” Ferebee told reporters on Tuesday.

The audit by the Council of Great City Schools noted that in 11 of the past 12 years, IPS’s projected expenditures were substantially higher than its actual spending. That left IPS with an average cash balance each year of $57 million, or 25 percent of its general fund.

By contrast, the median cash surplus among 34 school districts that are part of the Council of Great City Schools is 11 percent of general funds.

Those cash balances are maintained in cash accounts, rather than being placed in higher-yielding investments. Ferebee said his staff would work to develop a policy on how much the district needs to keep in cash reserves and, if it holds more than that, to place it in long-term investments.

“We need to invest some of our resources in a better fashion,” Ferebee said.

In spite of the more positive financial picture, Ferebee said he’s moving ahead on various efforts to trim expenses, including the possible sale of IPS busing, warehouse and media facilities. The budget deficit was the basis for IPS’s decision to lay off 100 employees last year, and it played a role in the district's decision in February to terminate 23 administrators.

IPS is working to change the way teachers are paid, possibly paying some teachers more. Negotiations between IPS and its teachers’ union begin on Aug. 1.

Ferebee also said he has started discussions with state education leaders to ask for four "turnaround" schools that were placed in 2012 into the hands of charter schools operators to be given back to IPS.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Fund Balances
    Is the audit available to the public? There are two VERY big questions not addressed in the press reporting: 1) in which funds the balances reside (Gen Fund was only implied, but not specifically stated); and 2) whether any of the reserves are due to non-recurring revenue, one-time savings, or expenses shifted out past end of the reporting period. The issue of which fund balances is particularly important with regard to IPS fiscal strength. If the reserve balances are building in dedicated funds, with tightly restricted allowable uses, then they aren't of much help to IPS in covering general operating expenses. If IPS has truly been building large Gen Fund reserves over the past few years, somebody's got a lot of questions to answer!!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT