Citizens Financial Advisory Committee
Roles & Responsibilities
A primary task of the Kent School District Board of Directors (Board) is ensuring that the Kent School District (District) has the necessary financial resources to satisfy its mission, to facilitate effective and learning excellence for every student. The Board is tasked with continually monitoring and assessing current and projected revenues and expenditures.
The Board recognizes that school finance is highly regulated with many restrictions placed on both revenue and expenditures. District officials currently prepare financial projections and oversee the collection of revenue and the expenditure of funds.
In order to build trust with our stakeholders and attend to our fiscal recovery plan, the Board organized and convened a Fiscal Recovery Task Force (Task Force) to serve as advisors to the Board. The Task Force was created from community volunteers and stakeholders who had legal, financial, auditing experience and/or interest.
The Task Force was to be in place until the primary objectives were met. Based on the current budget, it is clear that the District has attained a position of financial solvency so the Task Force considers its recovery review completed. Since the District has recovered financial solvency, at the Task Force request, the Board changed the name of the Task Force to the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) on January 22, 2020. The Board desires that the committee continue its advisory role as the CFAC as there are additional areas the Board wishes the committee to review and monitor.
A key objective of the Board is to maintain a year-end fund balance at 5% of the previous year's expenditures. Understanding that our previous year's expenditures may contain categorical dollars that must be spent to their fullest or be returned, and to ensure that we are using the general fund to its advantage, the CFAC continues to be charged with:
Objective One: Protect & use the General Fund to its Best Advantage
- Review allowable uses of other funds than general funds.
- Review federal money use vs. basic education money use.
- Review how best to leverage categorical funds.
- Monitor key metrics and report to the Board.
Objective Two: Metrics
Identify 3-5 key metrics in consultation with the District's business office. Examples would be to look at monthly salary and benefits compared to budget, monthly and year-to-date data, or look at enrollment on a monthly basis.
Objective Three: Dashboard
Create a publicly available dashboard for data review of key metrics (objective two). The dashboard is intended for use by the Board and public to easily assess the District’s financial health.
The Citizens Financial Advisory Committee is to assist the Board in a financial advisory role and not in a decision-making role. It is not the role of the CFAC to partake in the day-to-day operations/decisions of the District's administration nor is it the intent of the committee to address state school funding issues. Some areas of work to be considered are:
- Assisting the District in educating the general public concerning school finance issues and including collaboration in the creation of reader-friendly financial information.
- In consultation with the District business office, reviewing the annual budget, revenue and expenditure forecasts, and submitting any recommendations to the Board.
- Advising the Board of any local, state, and/or national policies, legislation or emergent trends which may impact district finances.
- Reviewing other issues as directed by the Board.
Membership of the CFAC will consist of the members of the original Fiscal Recovery Task Force as of January 22, 2020. If necessary, replacement for resigned members would be selected by the CFAC and appointed by the Board at a regular school board meeting. To the extent possible, the CFAC will consist of community members, one classified representative, one certificated representative and one high school student.
The CFAC will select leadership. The District's Executive Director of Finance will serve as the staff liaison to the CFAC and will be assisted by other District staff as needed. District consultants may be needed to assist in the work of the CFAC, depending on data and/or issues being analyzed.
Membership as of December 1, 2020
- Michael T. Lewis: Co-Chair and Certificated Representative
- Paul Bogel: Co-Chair and Community Representative
- Barbara Poyneer: Community Representative
- Yvonne Steed: Community Representative
- Zachary T. Kieffer: Community Representative
- Brooke Valentine: Community Representative
- Jaden Parker: Student Representative
- Kristie Penchen: Community Representative
- Carla Lantz: Classified Representative
- Zulayka Bontzolakes: Student Representative
Meetings & Procedures
The Citizens Financial Advisory Committee will meet regularly during the school year. CFAC meetings are not subject to Washington State open meeting laws, except when reporting to the Board of Directors.
If a CFAC member fails to attend at least 75% of the meetings in a fiscal year, this can be grounds for removal from the CFAC.
The CFAC may adopt other rules and procedures to govern its operations, including by-laws, subject to review and approval by the Board.
Membership in the CFAC is expected to last a minimum of two (2) years. Membership and this charter will be reviewed early in January 2021, and determination will be made to extend the membership for additional years and/or change any part of this charter.
Frequency of Meetings
Time commitment is expected to be no more than four hours per month. The CFAC will schedule its regular meetings as needed during the school year.