As the third largest school district in the state of Iowa, the Davenport Community Schools maintains a budget of over $200 million. A highly trained and widely recognized staff of financial experts comprise the Finance Department of the district to ensure the effective use of funds for the Davenport community that we serve .
Our Finance Department’s most recent accolades include the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Association of School Business Officials International.
Nation-wide the funding of public education is a sophisticated blend of federal, state and local sources all working together to serve the community and the individual needs of students. Within this complex financial structure are some documents common to all districts that will provide an overview of school finance, funding sources and expenses. To read an overview of school finance that uses common sense language, skip down to “School Finance, Simplified,”by clicking here. If you’d rather view detailed reports, please visit any of the following finance links:
The Board of Directors are presented with a financial packet of information each month at the Committee of the Whole meeting. This information contains general fund financial statements, self insurance fund statement and comparative information to the previous two months as well as previous two years. On a quarterly basis this packet of information contains an investment portfolio as well as a summary of grants that have been awarded.
For monthly reports prior to 2008, please email us.
School Finance, Simplified
School districts in Iowa receive funding based on a finance formula as established by the state. The formula determines the maximum amount a district can spend in a year and also details where the money will come from.
To better understand the concept, consider the process of applying for a credit card and receiving a credit limit. The credit card company sets your credit limit. Even though you may be able to afford a higher limit, you cannot spend over the limit set by the credit card company. In Iowa, it is illegal for a school district to spend beyond their spending limit.
The finance formula contains very specific components that when added up, total the maximum spending limit for a district. The biggest funding element of the district’s budget is based on the number of students in the district. Each year the state legislature establishes a per pupil dollar amount that districts will receive for each student enrolled in the district. This comprises over 80% of the district’s budget.
Other components that add to the total spending limit include dollars passed on to the Area Education Agency, funding generated by the Instructional Support Levy, miscellaneous income brought into the district and any special exceptions as granted by the state. That’s it.
Once the district has determined what the spending limit will be for the year, the next step is to identify where the money will come from and where it will be spent.
The money the district receives for each student enrolled in the district comes from two sources: the state provides funding and property taxes generated within the district provide funding. Again, a formula is used to determine the percentage share that each source will fund.
School district budgets are unique in that the spending limit is determined first, and then the district determines the sources to fund the limit. If a district were to generate more funding than the spending limit allows, the district would not be able to spend the additional funding.
Obviously, school finance is complex. Davenport Community Schools has a Finance Department filled with highly qualified individuals to insure the district remains financially healthy and in compliance with federal and state guidelines.