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Despite little state and county funding, Catawba County Schools remains on stable financial ground.
One important part of the fiscal year 2009-10 audit is the school system's general fund balance increased $1.7 million from 2009's audit. The new general fund balance is $6.2 million.
The general fund is the school system's primary fund for operating expenses and some minor facility needs.
"We increased our available fund balance," said Sandra Wolfe, CCS finance director. "We looked at what's happening in the state and are conservative in our funding."
Wolfe added that by maintaining a general fund balance, Catawba County Schools can pull from these reserve funds to offset some of the lack of state and county funding during the years ahead.
"We will take every measure possible (to save funds)," Wolfe said.
CCS received $819,607 less in the general fund for fiscal year 2009-10 from Catawba County, compared to the previous fiscal year. The school system received $165,550 more in state grants for the general fund than in 2009. The total revenues for the general fund were down $1.1 million to $29.3 million from $30.4 million in 2009's fiscal year ending.
In the special revenues fund and the state public school category, CCS got $85.1 million from North Carolina, which was a decrease of $9 million from the previous fiscal year.
However, the total federal money received for school grants increased $6.5 million to $13.2 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year.
"We had a very good year, and our schools did a good job with their records," Wolfe said. "We improved the financial position of the system."
As the Board of Education plans its 2010-11 budget, Wolfe said board members will continue to review plans to save money.
"We will fine tune (the budget plans), and take every step we can to preserve resources and protect our employees," she said.
CCS interim superintendent Glenn Barger agreed.
"We are not only concerned about the coming year, but the following year," Barger said. "We are putting as much in reserve as we can."
The CCS Board of Education unanimously approved the audit for fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, at its Monday night meeting.
Catawba County Schools Board of Education will have a public hearing to discuss its budget at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Annex boardroom. The proposed budget for local funds and facility needs will be on the board's 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28 agenda for approval before sending it to the county manager. All meetings are open to the public.