Muskegon Heights Academy’s financial situation improves


MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – Muskegon Heights Public School Academy ended its 2017-18 fiscal year in a better financial position than expected.

Due to an influx of grants, the Charter District expects to end the year with a deficit of $ 112,980, which would be drawn from its fund balance (savings account), according to a press release. by Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) on behalf of the academy.

This finish is about $ 841,000 better than what was estimated in June.

An audit presentation is expected at the next board meeting on Monday, November 19, at Muskegon Heights High School, 2441 Sanford St. in Muskegon Heights.

“An informal preliminary indication is that we are financially in good standing,” Stephen Parker, the academy’s administrator, said at a recent meeting.

The academy started 2017-18 with a fund balance of $ 1,225,247, according to transparency reports. With the deficit of $ 112,980, the fund balance at the end of the year would be $ 1,112,267.

The closing fund balance equals about 14% of 2017-18 expenses, the statement said.

The state’s directive is to have at least 5 percent of expenses held in the fund balance.

“We are proud of the academic and financial progress at Muskegon Heights and are confident that Superintendent (Rane) Garcia and her team will continue to go above and beyond to ensure greater academic growth for our students,” said the Chairman of the Board. administration of the academy, Garland Kilgore.

The $ 841,000 variation in the budget is due to several grants, Garcia said. She listed three of the biggest grants:

  • Partnership 9pm: $ 234,534
  • High impact leadership: $ 34,597
  • Early literacy: $ 16,590

“The primary areas of focus with this funding are educational support for teachers and leadership, system support, and staff recruitment and retention,” Garcia said of the Michigan Department of Education’s Partnership 21H grant.

The High Impact Leadership grant focuses on literacy leadership, she said. The grant will support students at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in grades two through six.

The Early Literacy Grant is intended to support literacy education from Kindergarten to Grade 3.

As a charter, the district’s only public revenue is state funding per student, and 3% of that goes to Muskegon Heights Public Schools, as they oversee the charter.

Muskegon Heights Public Schools and the Academy remain under the oversight of a Transitional Trusteeship Advisory Board appointed by the Michigan Department of the Treasury. The RTAB was established after the district left emergency management in October 2016.

It had been under emergency management since 2012, when it was in debt of $ 12 million. The emergency manager created the charter academy district to educate students as Muskegon Heights public schools struggled to pay off debt, using non-per-student funding such as local mileage.

“We don’t collect any of the taxes from our community – they go to Muskegon Heights public schools to pay off the debt,” Garcia said previously, adding that the situation makes the budget tighter than at other schools.

In its initial budget, the academy forecast a deficit of about $ 540,000, according to transparency reports. An amended budget approved by the academy’s school board in June included a deficit of approximately $ 954,000.

The deficit grew throughout the year, in part due to an unexpected increase of nearly $ 200,000 in the price of special education programs through the Muskegon region middle school district, said Garcia.

The one-time purchase of a K-12 English and Mathematics curriculum added to the financial burden in 2017-18. The cost was around $ 150,000 to $ 200,000, she said.

Garcia declined to provide total income and expenses for 2017-18 when asked earlier this week. She said the figures would be available when the audit became public.

A look at 2018-19

The chartered academy plans to add money to its fund balance in fiscal year 2018-19 with a projected surplus of $ 198,741.

With a $ 240 increase in state funding per student, the academy expects revenues of approximately $ 8,354,668 and planned spending of $ 8,155,927.

The academy expects to receive $ 7,635 per student (97% of the base grant of $ 7,871 per student). Subsidies are also expected.


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