By Eileen Johnston
I believe that a couple of the requirements under the Financial Transparency Act are being misinterpreted by many charter schools. While most schools are compliant with posting their accounts payable check register, salary schedule and credit card statements, there may be some confusion about posting financial statements and investment statements.
The statute requires that, at a minimum, financial statements be posted quarterly. It further requires that financial reports be posted within sixty days after completion. Most schools post their quarterly statements within the time frame, but they are not posting their monthly statements. I am not aware of any school that only produces quarterly statements. It seems to me that it would be extremely difficult to effectively manage a budget if you only saw a budget to actual statement once every three months. To the extent that schools are producing monthly financial statements for their board and/or administration, these reports need to be posted within sixty days of preparation.
The other area that is often overlooked is posting money market statements. Generally, schools will post their statements from CSAFE or other investment institutions, but the money market account is not included. In as much as money market accounts earn interest, (albeit insignificant), they should be included in your monthly postings.