DEARBORN — For the fourth year in a row, the Dearborn Public School District has been recognized for excellence in how it presents its budget.
The district was awarded a Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) by the Association of School Business Officials International for the current 2021-22 fiscal year budget.
The Association of School Business Officials International’s MBA and pathway to the MBA promote and recognize the best budget presentation practices in school districts.
Tom Wall, executive director of business and operations, and his staff are responsible for handling the district’s budget.
“We are grateful to receive this recognition,” he said. “While financial information for such a large district is inherently complicated, we work to make our information and processes understandable and available to our community, including the Board of Education.”
The Dearborn Public School District has a combined annual budget of $333 million and more than 20,000 students.
The district publishes its financial records on its website, under Transparency Reporting, including budgets, audits, employee salary schedules, benefit plans, purchasing policies and more. There is also a separate page dedicated to sharing information on how the district is spending its COVID-19 relief funding.
Earlier this year, Plante Moran did not find any significant issues with how the district handles its finances and issued an “unqualified” audit report, which is the highest type of audit finding.
MBA participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review materials for compliance with the MBA criteria checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents if need be.
“Districts that apply to the MBA or Pathway to the MBA programs recognize the importance of presenting a high-quality, easy-to-understand budget internally and to the community,” David J. Lewis, Association of School Business Officials International’s executive director, said. “By participating in the programs, not only do districts have access to the tools and resources they need to communicate the district’s goals and objectives clearly, they demonstrate their commitment to upholding nationally recognized budget presentation standards.”