As a public institution, the Ankeny Community School District relies on financial support from local, State and Federal sources. At the local level, these funds come in the form of property taxes and various grant programs. State resources come in the form of income surtaxes, sales tax revenues, grants and foundation aid. Federal sources in the form of grants and aid, such as Title I and Food and Nutrition program support are utilized.
It is critical that Ankeny Schools be good stewards of public monies and maintain public trust at the highest level. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, (GFOA) awards a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the Association of School Business Officials International, (ASBO) awards a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting.
The Ankeny Community School District has received both of these Certificates for its comprehensive annual financial reporting beginning in 2012. This achievement is representative of the District’s efforts to operate with fiscal integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness.
The charts that follow provide relevant budget and financial information for our school community.
Finances are generally planned and based on the number of students served by the district. Student enrollment trends have dramatic impact on the finances of a school district. The following chart shows that for the 2016-2017 school year, certified enrollment has increased by 400 students over the previous year. Over the past 10 years, Ankeny Schools have averaged student enrollment growth of more than 384 students per year. To date, the school district has experienced an 80% increase in enrollment in just 15 years. The largest five year period of enrollment growth on record in the school district have been 2012 - 2016.
After a tax rate spike in 2010, the mutual desire of the Board of Education and school district administration to lower the district tax rate produced a plan that was approved by the Board in April 2010. Each year following, it has been updated to reflect the current as well as projected enrollment, valuation, and economic variables. Over the past five years, the school district has reduced its tax rates, following a large spike in rate in 2010-2011. It is projected that with a 41-cent reduction in 2015-2016, the district will have reduced its tax rates by $2.58, erasing the $2.10 increase experienced in 2010-2011.
Property Valuation Trends indicate changes in the total taxable value of all agriculture, commercial and residential property within the district’s boundaries. In general, increases in property valuations that exceed increases in tax requirements from public entities, benefit taxpayers by providing for a decline in the property tax levy rate. The budget year assessed property valuation growth increased by 3.99%. The District’s 30-year property growth average is 6.93%. The total District taxable valuation including TIF equals $2,674,253,529, and was a 4.41% increase.
Unspent Balance is the term used in school finance to describe the unspent “spending authority” granted by the state but remaining at the end of a fiscal year in the District’s General Fund. It is unique to the General Fund only. The General Fund supports all instructional programming. Spending authority remaining at the end of the fiscal year is the difference between total spending authority the General Fund is granted, less what is expended. This difference accumulates from previous years making up the Unspent Balance. It is important to note that "spending authority" does not refer to actual existing dollars, but the authority to spend.
The financial solvency ratio is calculated by dividing the total assigned and unassigned fund balance of the school district by the total general fund revenue (minus AEA flowthrough). In general, the district's target ratio is between 5% and 10%, which is more difficult for a rapidly-growing school district to attain.