The Board shall collect and assemble the information necessary to discharge its responsibility for the fiscal management of the District and to plan for the financial needs of the educational program. The Board shall also maintain both short (1 month) and long range (12 months) projections of district financial requirements.
Pursuant to Florida statutes and Policy 6220, the Board shall develop, advertise, and then approve a budget for each fiscal year. The budget shall provide for the equitable distribution of resources. In addition, the Board shall also develop a Five-Year Capital Work Program.
The Board is legally required to operate with a balanced budget. The Board understands that unforeseen circumstances can result in increases or decreases in revenue and/or expenditures during a fiscal year. These circumstances could thereby affect the financial stability of the District.
To ensure the financial strength and stability of the District, ensure that the Board is in compliance with Florida Statutes Chapter 1011.051 (1), and ensure the continuity of services to students, the Board shall maintain an operating budget General Fund ending Unassigned Fund Balance that includes at least thirty days of total operating expenses.
To accomplish this responsibility, there shall be two reserves maintained within the Unassigned Fund Balance in Fund 101, the General Fund of the operating budget.
One reserve in the Unassigned Fund Balance may be identified as the Budget Stabilization Reserve. The Budget Stabilization Reserve shall be at least five percent, but not to exceed ten percent, of projected General Fund operating revenues for each fiscal year.
To access the Budget Stabilization Reserve funds, the Superintendent shall recommend through a specific agenda item declaring a financial emergency at a business meeting of the Board. The financial emergency shall explicitly state the circumstances requiring the use of these funds. The agenda item authorizing the use of funds in the Budget Stabilization Reserve in the Unassigned Fund Balance shall also include a schedule to restore the balance in the Reserve to at least the levels existing prior to the use of the revenue from the Budget Stabilization Reserve. The restoration shall occur in a time as prescribed by the Board, beginning not less than the second fiscal year after the funds were expended, and completing restoration in not less than five years after the restoration commences.
In addition to the Budget Stabilization Reserve, the Board shall maintain a second reserve within the Unassigned Fund Balance of the operating budget of the General Fund. This reserve may be identified as the Operating Fund Reserve, and shall be at least three percent of the General Fund revenues projected in the initial approved Final Budget for each fiscal year. Revenue in the Operating Fund Reserve may be available for use in Board approved budget amendments to the adopted final General Fund operating budget as necessary to provide for the effective operation of the school district. Any budget amendment that proposes to reduce the revenue in the Operating Fund Reserve within the Unassigned Fund Balance shall include an explanation of the need for the use of those funds. If funds from the Operating Budget Reserve are used to pay for expenses, they shall be considered non-recurring revenues, and if funds transferred from this reserve are used for recurring expenses, the budget amendment shall include the measures that will be taken to ensure that those recurring expenses shall be paid with recurring revenues in subsequent fiscal years.
In addition to the Budget Stabilization Reserve, the proposed Final Budget for each fiscal year shall restrict proposed expenditures to a level that ensures an Unassigned Fund Balance that also includes an Operating Fund Reserve of at least three percent of projected General Fund revenues. If conditions preclude such an Operating Fund Reserve, an explanation of the extraordinary circumstances requiring such a recommendation shall accompany the materials proposing the budget
As required by Florida statutes and Board Policy 8310 – Public Records, all records related to the annual budget and Five-Year Capital Work Program shall be open to inspection.
It is understood that the District’s records and financial statements shall be audited by the Auditor General, State of Florida and/or by a contracted certified public accounting firm. The auditor shall prepare and submit to the Board an annual review and opinion of said records.
Revised - HCPS - June 29, 2016