ShareThis Page
South Hills

Audit shows Baldwin-Whitehall schools on 'solid' financial footing

| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, 12:27 p.m.

An independent audit of Baldwin-Whitehall School District finances for the 2017-18 school year determined the district is adequately prepared to keep pace with statewide rises in employment and operational costs.

The routine audit — results of which were shared during a Nov. 7 school board meeting — also found the district’s financial statements and disclosures to be in good keeping with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Cottrill, Arbutina and Associates conducted the audit. Chad Agnew, a representative of the firm, told board members the district’s general fund balance of $8.5 million as of June 30 put them in a “healthy position.”

“Payroll and retirement and benefits and everything associated with that, those costs continue to increase,” Agnew said. “Your fund balance is in a position right now that you will be able to handle those items as they come forth here in the coming years.”

The audit did recommend the district prepare a written recovery plan should data ever be lost to fire or other natural disaster. The firm also recommended the district further segregate the responsibilities of business staff members, a recommendation Agnew said is commonly made to government entities but is difficult to implement without hiring additional staff.

Changes to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System, auditors said, also would likely benefit the district, though not for some time. The state in July of 2019 will offer new teachers a choice of two “hybrid” plans that Agnew said combine defined contribution and defined benefit plans, and a third choice of a solely defined contribution plan.

The new system, Agnew said, hopefully will alleviate pressure on districts brought about by the old underfunded guaranteed benefit plan.

“Years down the road, you will see a benefit of that,” Agnew said.

Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me