KEARNEY — The Kearney School District received a clean opinion from its most recent audit conducted by Richmond-based Westbrook & Co.
Certified Public Accountant Brian Eckhoff, in his presentation to the school board Wednesday, Nov. 20, said the audit went smoothly thanks to the hard work of district personnel. According to Eckhoff’s report, the district’s financial statements presented fairly. No material concerns or internal control deficiencies were found during the audit.
“That’s exactly what you want to see in the auditing world,” he said of the opinion given to the district.
The district’s total revenues, excluding bond proceeds and bond premiums, increased from $40,712,510 in 2017 to $41,910,626 in 2018, the audit’s financial highlights state. A majority of the increase was attributed to an increase in local tax revenue.
Total expenditures also increased, from $42,330,355 in 2017 to $53,347,996 in 2018, the majority of which, the highlights state, is related to debt service and capital projects spending. Capital project funds were used to build additions at the high school, renovations at the middle school, playground surfaces at elementary schools and construction of the Early Education Center.
Eckhoff also noted the school district had nearly $189,700 more in expenditures on food services than it had in revenues. While spending was still higher than revenues for food service, Eckhoff said spending was down from the previous year, where the district spent more than $200,000 over revenues brought in for food service.
Superintendent Bill Nicely said it was important to note the district, while it always looks for ways to be more cost efficient, is not in the business of trying to make money off serving children food.
School Board President Mark Kelly, in agreement with Eckhoff, said the district’s costs were higher for food service because it does not get as high of a reimbursement in funds for students on free or reduced lunch plans as other districts because Kearney schools do not have as many children on the plans.
Funds are federally provided to districts to provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day whose families could not otherwise afford meal prices.