Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for June 15, 2011
Kane School District passes GASB 54
The Kane County Board of Education at its June 9 meeting, passed a resolution adopting the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board. GASB is an independent organization that establishes and improves standards of accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments.
Established in 1984 by agreement of the nonprofit Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and 10 national associations of state and local government officials; the GASB is recognized by governments, the accounting industry, and the capital markets as the official source of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for state and local governments.
Accounting and financial reporting standards designed specifically for the government, are essential because governments are fundamentally different from businesses. Furthermore, the information needs of the users of government financial statements are different from the needs of the users of private company financial statements.
While these standards are not law and the organization itself does not have enforcement authority, compliance with GASB’s standards is ensured through state law requirements and through the audit process, when auditors render opinions as to financial statement conformity to GAAP.
In February of 2009, the GASB issued Statement #54, to take effect for periods after June 15, 2010. Although the Kane School District began implementing the new standards during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2011, the deadline for passage of a resolution formally adopting it is not until July 31, 2011. Statement #54, in order to provide more consistency among state and local governmental entities’ financial reports, requires those entities to report governmental fund balances in five categories – non-spendable, restricted, committed, assigned, and unassigned – with more specificity than what was previously required.
Kane District Business Manager Cary Reese explained the increased detail required by this rule will make financial reports clearer. The resolution was then passed.
The board also adopted provisions of Senate Bill #63 (New Public Employees Tier II Contributory Retirement Act of 2010), applicable to the school district, as required by the Utah Legislature.
Senate Bill #63 shrinks employer paid contribution amounts and reduces retirement benefits for newly-hired (after July 1, 2011) public employees, including teachers and other district employees, and new public safety and firefighter employees. However, the promised employer paid contribution and retirement benefits for existing retirees and employees hired before July 1, 2011 are not changed.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, District Business Manager Cary Reese complimented District Art Teacher Josh Baird for his management of the Kane School District 2011 Wellness Program.
The new program promotes and supports healthy living for individuals in the district. It provides for wellness grants to employees who undertake a six month long, measurable personal wellness goal, with two six month long phases in which to measure progress, and $30 financial incentives per phase, with a bonus payment possible. It has been offered to employees with or without benefits.
During phase one, which ended in May, the overall district success average for individuals meeting their personal wellness goals was 58.3%.
In other business, the school board passed a modification to Policy FDAC governing the medical treatment of students, and approved the hiring of Marvalee Anderson, as a third through fifth grade teacher at Big Water School.