Camden school reserve fund dips


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Monday, December 17, 2018

CAMDEN — The Camden County Schools’ reserve fund decreased over the past year and now represents about two months of operating expenses.

The school district’s unassigned fund balance as of June 30 was $468,635, auditor Donna Winborne told the Camden Board of Education last week.

School officials said they have drawn on their reserves in the past year to avoid seeking additional local funding, and also to get closer to the $250,000 level that county commissioners have indicated they believe is a reasonable fund balance for the school district.

The schools used $278,043 from fund balance to balance the budget in the current fiscal year.

Faye Perry, chief financial officer for the Camden County Schools, said the unassigned fund balance is about 6 percent of the Camden schools budget.

While the N.C. Local Government Commission expects county governments and municipal governments to maintain an unassigned fund balance of at least 8 percent, there is no minimum requirement for school systems, Perry explained.

On the other hand, school districts generally prefer to maintain at least some kind of reserve to help keep school operations moving smoothly since revenues from various sources come in at different times of the year.

Winborne, whose firm is based in Edenton, also told the board the audit reports an “unmodified opinion,” which is the best opinion the auditor can report regarding the completeness of the financial statements.

Perry thanked all the staff for their role in earning the positive report.

“It takes all of us,” Perry said. “It takes a village to get this report like this.”