The Association of School Business Officials International recently awarded the district a Meritorious Budget Award for the current 2021-22 fiscal year. The group’s MBA and Pathway to the MBA promote and recognize the best budget presentation practices in school districts.
The budget is handled by Tom Wall, executive director of Business and Operations, and his staff.
“We are grateful to receive this recognition,” Wall said. “While financial information for such a large district is inherently complicated, we work to make our information and processes understandable and available to our community, including the Board of Education.”
DPS has a combined annual budget of $333 million and more than 20,000 students. An overview of the district’s financial records is always available on the district website, https://dearbornschools.org, under Transparency Reporting near the top of the page. The Transparency page includes items like budgets, audits, employee salary schedules, benefit plans, purchasing policies and much more.
New this year is a link to a separate web page with more information on how the district is spending its COVID relief funding.
Earlier this school year, the district again received an “unqualified” audit report, which means the outside auditors at Plante Moran did not find any significant issues with how the district handles its finances. “Unqualified” is the highest type of audit finding.
Meritorious Budget Award participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents.
“Districts that apply to the MBA or Pathway to the MBA programs recognize the importance of presenting a high-quality, easy-to-understand budget internally and to the community,” ASBO International Executive Director David Lewis said. “By participating in the programs, not only do districts have access to the tools and resources they need to communicate the district’s goals and objectives clearly, they demonstrate their commitment to upholding nationally recognized budget presentation standards.”
Founded in 1910, the ASBO International is a nonprofit organization that, through its members and affiliates, represents approximately 30,000 school business professionals worldwide. ASBO International is committed to providing programs, services, and a global network that promote the highest standards in school business.