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KCSD receives ‘unmodified’ opinion on audit

Posted: December 5, 2013 5:52 p.m.
Updated: December 6, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) received an unmodified opinion on its Fiscal Year 2012-13 audit.

The accounting firm of Burkett, Burkett and Burkett reviewed the district’s financial statements, giving it the unmodified rating, the best rating the district could receive. In addition, the firm found no deficiencies in internal controls over financial reporting and that the district was compliant for major federal awards. In other words, a “clean” audit, said Larry Montague, audit partner for Burkett, Burkett and Burkett. Montague presented the audit at Tuesday’s Kershaw County Board of School Trustees meeting.

“These three unmodified opinions are the best opinions that could have been expressed in an audit,” Montague noted in the presentation.

He said there were no significant changes in accounting policies, no disagreements with management, no consultation with other independent accountants, no issues discussed prior to retention of independent auditors, no significant difficulties encountered in performing the audit. Montague said his firm also received full cooperation from all personnel during the audit.   

Despite cut backs the district has suffered during the past several years, Montague said it has managed to increase its general fund balance and acknowledged Kershaw County Council’s recent 3.2 mill increase for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Although Montague pointed out that the shortfalls from Act 388 still remain, the district generated net savings of about $1.2 million in interest costs associated with refunding general obligation bonds in 2012. The district also did not have to issue a tax anticipation note in the fall, saving money on interest it didn’t have to pay, Montague said.

Without raising meal prices, the district also made a profit from its “Enterprise Fund” service, absorbing more than $243,000 in indirect costs. That was something to be commended, Montague said.

Board Chair Mara Jones commended her fellow trustees for making decisions that had to be made in order to create a fund balance. Jones said the fund balance was nearly zero when she was elected to the board for the first time. She said she is most proud of the audit this year because it it’s about five years from economic difficulties the district began experiencing in 2008.  

In other news:

• Byrd and Pine Tree Hill Elementary School kindergarten teacher Cindy Bolin presented the board with 2014-2015 school year calendar recommendations. A 26-person committee decided to make the first week of school a full week with two half days on Monday and Tuesday. Bolin called the final version of the calendar “the great compromise.”

“The bottom line is that the children’s interests were at the forefront,” Bolin said.

The board will vote on the calendar at the Dec. 17 meeting.

• At the board’s Nov. 25 Finance/Facilities Committee Meeting, the district revealed that more than 40 of its 64 deferred maintenance projects have been completed since June. In addition, the board will look at school districts that work with Cenergistic, an energy conservation group. The board estimated it would have to pay $1.5 million dollars to Cenergistic, as well as hire an energy specialist person during a four-year period. The company has said, however, that it can save the district some $3 million.

• Jones asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of Lugoff-Elgin Middle School school resource officer Rob Evans.

• The Applied Technology Education Center received an excellent absolute rating on the state report card.


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