PREFILED    JAN 07 2020

REFERENCE TITLE: schools; audits; financial records; budgets

 

 

 

 

State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

Second Regular Session

2020

 

 

 

HB 2106

 

Introduced by

Representative Udall

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 15‑271, 15‑905 and 15‑914, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to school finances.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 15-271, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-271.  Duties of auditor general for uniform financial records system

A.  The auditor general shall determine the accounting systems, accounting methods and accounting procedures for utilization use by school districts.

B.  The auditor general in conjunction with the department of education shall prescribe a uniform system of financial records for utilization use by all school districts each fiscal year.

C.  The uniform system of financial records prescribed by the auditor general shall:

1.  Provide for adjustment in consideration of existing capabilities available at a reasonable cost to school districts.

2.  Allow schools to maintain necessary records at a minimum cost.

3.  Prescribe guidelines applicable to procurement practices for use by school districts for amounts less than those prescribed in section 15‑213, subsection A.

4.  Prescribe methods for the apportionment of apportioning revenues, including apportionment of apportioning various revenues to maintenance and operations, capital outlay and adjacent ways.

5.  Prescribe methods for the apportionment of apportioning revenues in excess of the revenue control limit in the same manner as the revenues in paragraph 4 of this subsection.

6.  Prescribe guidelines for the apportionment of apportioning the pupil enrollment and attendance as provided in section 15‑808, subsection F.

7.  Provide the department of education, the auditor general, the governor and the legislature with sufficient uniform information to assist in determining equitable distribution of state aid to school districts.

8.  Provide information, including at a minimum:

(a)  The student count and maintenance and operation expenditures with separate subsections for regular education programs, special education programs and operating expenditures for pupil transportation.

(b)  Capital outlay expenditures.

(c)  Debt service and special projects of all school districts.

D.  The auditor general shall inform any school district which that fails to establish and maintain the uniform system of financial records and shall detail in writing the deficiencies of the school district system giving the district ninety days to correct the deficiencies.

E.  The auditor general shall report to the department of education and the state board of education any school district which that either fails to establish and maintain the uniform system of financial records prescribed by the auditor general or fails to correct deficiencies in the system within ninety days after receiving notice of the deficiencies.  The auditor general shall detail in writing the deficiencies of the school district system in the auditor general's report to the department and the state board.

F.  A school district may but shall is not be required to maintain or provide financial records other than those prescribed by the auditor general. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 15-905, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-905.  School district budgets; notice; adoption; aggregate budget limit; summary; adjustments; impact aid fund; definition

A.  Not later than July 5 of each year or no not later than the publication of notice of the public hearing and board meeting as required by this section, the governing board of each school district shall prepare and furnish to the superintendent of public instruction and the county school superintendent, unless waived by the county school superintendent, a proposed budget in an electronic format for the budget year, which shall contain the information and be in the form as provided by the department of education.  The proposed budget shall include the following:

1.  The total amount of revenues from all sources that was necessary to meet the school district's budget for the current year.

2.  The total amount of revenues by source that will be necessary to meet the proposed budget of the school district, excluding property taxes. The governing board shall prepare the proposed budget and a summary of the proposed budget.  Both documents shall be kept on file at the school district office and shall be made available to the public on request.  Not later than July 5 of each year or not later than the publication of notice of the public hearing and board meeting required by this subsection, the governing board shall submit the proposed budget to the department of education, which shall prominently display this information about that school district on the website maintained by the department.  If the school district maintains a website, the school district shall post a link to the website of the department of education where this information about the school district is posted.  The auditor general in conjunction with the department of education shall prescribe the form of the summary of the proposed budget for use by governing boards.  School district governing boards may include in the proposed budget any items or amounts that are authorized by legislation filed with the secretary of state and that will become effective during the budget year.  If subsequent events prevent the legislation from becoming effective, school district governing boards must reduce their budgets by the amounts budgeted pursuant to the legislation that did not become effective.

B.  The governing board of each school district shall prepare a notice fixing a time not later than July 15 and designating a public place within each school district at which a public hearing and board meeting shall be held.  The governing board shall present the proposed budget for consideration of the residents and the taxpayers of the school district at that hearing and meeting.

C.  The governing board of each school district shall publish or mail, before the hearing and meeting, a copy of the proposed budget or the summary of the proposed budget and a notice of the public hearing and board meeting no not later than ten days before the meeting.  The proposed budget and the summary of the proposed budget shall contain the percentage of increase or decrease in each budget category of the proposed budget as compared to each category of the budget for the current year.  Notification shall be either by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the school district in which the size of the newspaper print shall be is at least eight‑point type, by electronic transmission of the information to the department of education for posting on the department's website or by mailing the information to each household in the school district.  The cost of publication, website posting or mailing shall be a charge against the school district.  The publisher's affidavit of publication shall be filed by the governing board with the superintendent of public instruction within thirty days after publication.  If the budget or proposed budget and notice are posted on a website maintained by the department of education or mailed, the board shall file an affidavit with the superintendent of public instruction within thirty days after the mailing or the date that the information is posted on the website. If a truth in taxation notice and hearing is required under section 15‑905.01, the governing board may combine the notice and hearing under this section with the truth in taxation notice and hearing.

D.  At the time and place fixed in the notice, the governing board shall hold the public hearing and present the proposed budget to the persons attending the hearing.  On request of any person, the governing board shall explain the budget, and any resident or taxpayer of the school district may protest the inclusion of any item.  A governing board member who has a substantial interest, as defined in section 38‑502, in a specific item in the school district budget shall refrain from voting on the specific item.  A governing board member may participate without creating a conflict of interest in adoption of adopting a final budget even though the member may have substantial interest in specific items included in the budget.

E.  Immediately following the public hearing the president shall call to order the governing board meeting for the purpose of adopting the budget.  The governing board shall adopt the budget, which shall not exceed the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit, making such deductions as it sees fit but making no additions to the proposed budget total for maintenance and operations or capital outlay, and shall enter the budget as adopted in its minutes.  Not later than July 18, the budget as finally adopted shall be filed by the governing board with the county school superintendent who shall immediately transmit a copy to the board of supervisors.  Not later than July 18, the budget as finally adopted shall be submitted electronically to the superintendent of public instruction.  Not later than July 18, the governing board shall submit the budget as finally adopted to the department of education, which shall prominently display this information about that school district on the website maintained by the department.  If the school district maintains a website, the school district shall post a link to the website of the department of education where this information about the school district is posted.  On or before October 30, the superintendent of public instruction shall review the budget and notify the governing board if the budget is in excess of exceeds the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit.  The governing board shall revise the budget as follows:

1.  If the governing board receives notification that the budget exceeds the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit by one percent of the general budget limit, it shall adopt on or before December 15, after it gives notice and holds a public meeting in a similar manner as provided in subsections C and D of this section, a revised budget for the current year, which shall not exceed the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit.

2.  If the governing board receives notification that the budget exceeds the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit by less than the amount prescribed in paragraph 1 of this subsection, the governing board shall adjust the budget and expenditures so as not to exceed the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit for the current year.

3.  On or before December 18, the governing board shall file the revised budget it adopts with the county school superintendent who shall immediately transmit a copy to the board of supervisors.  Not later than December 18, the budget as revised shall be submitted electronically to the superintendent of public instruction.  School districts that are subject to section 15‑914.01 are not required to send a copy of revised budgets to the county school superintendent.  Procedures for adjusting expenditures or revising the budget shall be as prescribed in the uniform system of financial records.

F.  The governing board of each school district may budget for expenditures within the school district budget as follows:

1.  Amounts within the general budget limit, as provided in section 15‑947, subsection C, may only be budgeted in the following sections of the budget:

(a)  The maintenance and operation section.

(b)  The capital outlay section.

2.  Amounts within the unrestricted capital budget limit, as provided in section 15‑947, subsection D, may only be budgeted in the unrestricted capital outlay subsection of the budget.  Monies received pursuant to the unrestricted capital budget limit shall be placed in the unrestricted capital outlay fund.  The monies in the fund are not subject to reversion.

G.  The governing board may authorize the expenditure of monies budgeted within the maintenance and operation section of the budget for any subsection within the section in excess of that exceed amounts specified in the adopted budget only by action taken at a public meeting of the governing board and if the expenditures for all subsections of the section do not exceed the amount budgeted as provided in this section.

H.  The aggregate budget limit is the sum of the following:

1.  The general budget limit as determined in section 15‑947 for the budget year.

2.  The unrestricted capital budget limit as determined in section 15‑947 for the budget year.

3.  Federal assistance, excluding title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 monies.

I.  School districts that overestimated tuition revenues as provided in section 15‑947, subsection C, paragraph 2 shall adjust the general budget limit and expenditures based on tuition revenues for attendance of nonresident pupils during the current fiscal year.  School districts that underestimated tuition revenues may adjust their budgets before May 15 based on tuition revenues for attendance of nonresident pupils during the current fiscal year.  School districts that overestimated revenues as provided in section 15‑947, subsection C, paragraph 2, subdivision (a), items (iii), (iv) and (v) and subdivision (c) shall adjust the general budget limit and expenditures based on actual revenues during the current fiscal year.  School districts that underestimated such revenues may adjust their budgets before May 15 based on actual revenues during the current fiscal year.  Procedures for completing adjustments shall be as prescribed in the uniform system of financial records.  Not later than May 18, the budget as adjusted shall be submitted electronically to the superintendent of public instruction.

J.  A common school district not within a high school district whose estimated tuition charge for high school pupils exceeds the actual tuition charge for high school pupils shall adjust the general budget limit and expenditures based on the actual tuition charge.  Not later than May 18, the budget as adjusted shall be submitted electronically to the superintendent of public instruction.  A common school district not within a high school district whose estimated tuition charge for high school pupils is less than the actual tuition charge for high school pupils may adjust its budget before May 15 based on the actual tuition charge.  Procedures for completing adjustments shall be as prescribed in the uniform system of financial records.  If the adjusted general budget limit requires an adjustment of state aid and if the adjustment to state aid is not made in the current year, the superintendent of public instruction shall adjust by August 15 of the succeeding fiscal year the apportionment of state aid to the school district to correct any overpayment or underpayment of state aid received during the current year.

K.  The governing board may include title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance allocated for children with disabilities, children with specific learning disabilities, children residing on Indian lands and children residing within the boundaries of an accommodation school that is located on a military reservation and that is classified as a heavily impacted local educational agency pursuant to 20 United States Code section 7703, which is in addition to basic assistance when determining the general budget limit as prescribed in section 15‑947, subsection C.  The increase in the general budget limit for children residing within the boundaries of an accommodation school that is located on a military reservation and that is classified as a heavily impacted local education agency shall equal the dollar amount calculated pursuant to 20 United States Code section 7703(b)(2).  The governing board may adjust before May 15 the budget for the current year based on any adjustments that result in increases over the amount estimated by the superintendent of public instruction for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance for such pupils for the fiscal year preceding the current year.  The governing board shall adjust before May 15 the budget for the current year based on any adjustments that result in decreases in the amount estimated by the superintendent of public instruction for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance for such pupils for the fiscal year preceding the current year.  Not later than May 18, the budget as adjusted shall be submitted electronically to the superintendent of public instruction.  Procedures for complying with this subsection shall be as prescribed in the uniform system of financial records.

L.  The department of education shall notify the state board of education if expenditures by any school district exceed the general budget limit prescribed in section 15‑947, subsection C, the unrestricted capital budget limit, the school plant fund limits prescribed in section 15‑1102, subsection B, the maintenance and operation section of the budget or the capital outlay section of the budget.  If the expenditures of any school district exceed these limits or sections of the budget without authorization as provided in section 15‑907, and if the state board of education determines that the equalization assistance for education received by the school district as provided in section 15‑971 does not conform with statutory requirements, the state board of education shall reduce the state aid for equalization assistance for education for the school district computed as provided in section 15‑971 during the fiscal year subsequent to the fiscal year in which the excess equalization assistance for education was received by an amount equal to the excess equalization assistance for education, except that in case of hardship to the school district, the superintendent of public instruction may approve reductions partly in the first subsequent year and partly in the second subsequent year.  If the state board of education determines that the equalization assistance for education received by the school district conforms with statutory requirements, the state board of education shall not reduce the district's equalization assistance for education pursuant to this subsection but the district shall reduce the budget limits as required in subsection M of this section.  A school district that disagrees with the department of education's determination regarding an excess expenditure under this subsection may request a hearing before the state board of education.

M.  The governing board of a school district shall reduce the general budget limit or the unrestricted capital budget limit for the year subsequent to the year in which the expenditures were in excess of the applicable limit or section of the budget by the amount determined in subsection L of this section, except that in case of hardship to the school district, the superintendent of public instruction may approve reductions partly in the first subsequent year and partly in the second subsequent year.  The reduction in the limit is applicable to each school district that has exceeded the general budget limit, the unrestricted capital budget limit or a section of the budget even if the reduction exceeds the state aid for equalization assistance for education for the school district.

N.  Except as provided in section 15‑916, no expenditure shall be made by any school district for a purpose not included in the budget or in excess of the aggregate budget limit prescribed in this section, except that if no budget has been adopted, from July 1 to July 15 the governing board may make expenditures if the total of the expenditures does not exceed ten percent of the prior year's aggregate budget limit.  Any expenditures made from July 1 to July 15 and before the adoption of the budget shall be included in the total expenditures for the current year.  No expenditure shall be made and no debt, obligation or liability shall be incurred or created in any year for any purpose itemized in the budget in excess of the amount specified for the item irrespective of whether the school district at any time has received or has on hand funds in excess of those required to meet the expenditures, debts, obligations and liabilities provided for under the budget except expenditures from cash controlled funds as defined by the uniform system of financial records and except as provided in section 15‑907 and subsection G of this section.  This subsection does not prohibit any school district from prepaying insurance premiums, magazine subscriptions or officiating services, or from prepaying any item that is normally prepaid in order to procure the service or to receive a discounted price for the service, as prescribed by the uniform system of financial records.

O.  The governing board of a school district that is classified as a heavily impacted school district having twenty percent or more pupils pursuant to 20 United States Code section 238(d)1(A) may determine its eligibility to increase the amount that may be included in determining the general budget limit as provided in subsection K of this section and may increase the amount as follows:

1.  For fiscal year 1988‑1989:

(a)  Multiply one thousand ninety‑four dollars $1,094 by the number of children with disabilities or children with specific learning disabilities, excluding children who also reside on Indian lands, reported to the division of impact aid, United States department of education in the district's application for fiscal year 1987‑1988.

(b)  Multiply five hundred forty‑seven dollars $547 by the number of children residing on Indian lands, excluding children who have disabilities or also have specific learning disabilities, reported to the division of impact aid, United States department of education in the district's application for fiscal year 1987‑1988.

(c)  Multiply one thousand nine hundred fourteen dollars $1,914 by the number of children residing on Indian lands who have disabilities or also have specific learning disabilities reported to the division of impact aid, United States department of education in the district's application for fiscal year 1987‑1988.

(d)  Add the amounts determined in subdivisions (a) through (c) of this paragraph.

(e)  If the amount of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance as provided in subsection K of this section is less than the sum determined in subdivision (d) of this paragraph, the district is eligible to use the provisions of this subsection.

2.  For budget years after 1988‑1989, use the provisions of paragraph 1 of this subsection, but increase each dollar amount by the growth rate for that year as prescribed by law, subject to appropriation and use the number of children reported in the appropriate category for the current fiscal year.

3.  If the district is eligible to use the provisions of this subsection, subtract the amount of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance determined in subsection K of this section from the sum determined in paragraph 1, subdivision (d) of this subsection.  The difference is the increase in the amount that may be included in determining the general budget limit as provided in subsection K of this section, if including this amount does not increase the district's primary tax rate for the budget year.  If the amount of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance determined in subsection K of this section is adjusted for the current year, the increase determined in this paragraph shall be recomputed using the adjusted amount and the recomputed increase shall be reported to the department of education by May 15 on a form prescribed by the department of education.

4.  If a district uses the provisions of this subsection, the district is not required to adjust its budget for the current year based on adjustments in the estimated amount of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance as provided in subsection K of this section.

P.  A school district, except for an accommodation school, that applies for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance during the current year may budget an amount for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 administrative costs for the budget year.  The amount budgeted for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 administrative costs is exempt from the revenue control limit and may not exceed an amount determined for the budgeted year as follows:

1.  Determine the minimum cost.  The minimum cost for fiscal year 1990‑1991 is two thousand three hundred forty‑three dollars $2,343.  For fiscal year 1991‑1992 and thereafter, the minimum cost is the minimum cost for the prior year increased by the growth rate as prescribed by law, subject to appropriation.

2.  Determine the hourly rate.  The hourly rate for fiscal year 1990‑1991 is nine dollars thirty‑eight cents $9.38.  For fiscal year 1991‑1992 and thereafter, the hourly rate is the hourly rate for the prior year increased by the growth rate as prescribed by law, subject to appropriation.

3.  Determine the title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 revenues available by subtracting the amount of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance used to increase the general budget limit as provided in subsections K and O of this section for the current fiscal year from the total amount of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 revenues received in the current fiscal year.

4.  Determine the total number of administrative hours as follows:

(a)  Determine the sum of the following:

(i)  1.00 hours for each high impact pupil who is not a person with a disability or does not have specific learning disabilities.

(ii)  1.25 hours for each high impact pupil who is a person with a disability or has specific learning disabilities.

(iii)  0.25 hours for each low impact pupil who is not a person with a disability or does not have specific learning disabilities.

(iv)  0.31 hours for each low impact pupil who is a person with a disability or has specific learning disabilities.

(b)  For the purposes of this paragraph:

(i)  "High impact pupil" means a pupil who resides on Indian lands or a pupil who resides on federal property or in low rent housing and whose parent is employed on federal property or low rent housing property or is on active duty in uniformed service, as provided in title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965, section 8003(a) (20 United States Code section 7703) and as reported in the application for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance in the current year.

(ii)  "Low impact pupil" means a pupil who resides on nonfederal property and has a parent who is employed on federal property or low rent housing property or is on active duty in a uniformed service or a pupil who resides on federal property or in low rent housing and who does not have a parent who is employed on federal property or low rent housing property or is on active duty in uniformed service, as provided in title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965, section 8003(a) (20 United States Code section 7703) and as reported in the application for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance in the current year.

5.  Multiply the total number of administrative hours determined in paragraph 4 of this subsection by the hourly rate determined in paragraph 2 of this subsection.

6.  Determine the greater of the minimum cost determined in paragraph 1 of this subsection or the product determined in paragraph 5 of this subsection.

7.  Add to the amount determined in paragraph 6 of this subsection the amount, if any, to be expended by the school district in the budget year through an intergovernmental agreement with other school districts or the department of education to provide title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 technical assistance to participating districts.

8.  Determine the lesser of the amount determined in paragraph 7 of this subsection or the revenues available as determined in paragraph 3 of this subsection.

9.  The amount determined in paragraph 8 of this subsection is the maximum amount that may be budgeted for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 administrative costs for the budget year as provided in this subsection.

10.  If the governing board underestimated the amount that may be budgeted for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965, section 8007 administrative costs for the current year, the board may adjust the general budget limit and the budget before May 15.  If the governing board overestimated the amount that may be budgeted for title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 administrative costs for the current year, the board shall adjust the general budget limit and the budget before May 15.

Q.  If a school district governing board has adopted a budget for a fiscal year based on forms and instructions provided by the auditor general and the department of education for that fiscal year and if, as a result of the enactment or nonenactment of proposed legislation after May 1 of the previous fiscal year, the budget is based on incorrect limits, does not include items authorized by law or does not otherwise conform with law, the governing board may revise its budget at a public hearing on or before September 15 to conform with the law.  Not later than September 18, the budget as adjusted shall be submitted electronically to the superintendent of public instruction.  If the governing board does not revise the budget on or before September 15 and if the budget includes any items not authorized by law or if the budget exceeds any limits, the governing board shall adjust or revise the budget as provided in subsection E of this section.

R.  Notwithstanding any other law, if a school district receives assistance pursuant to title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965, the school district shall establish a local level fund designated as the impact aid fund and deposit the impact aid monies received in the fund.  The school district shall separately account for monies in the fund and shall not combine monies in the fund with any other source of local, state or federal assistance.  Monies in the fund shall be expended pursuant to federal law only for the purposes allowed by this title.  The school district shall account for monies in the fund according to the uniform system of financial records as prescribed by the auditor general.  The superintendent of public instruction shall separately account for monies in each school district's impact aid fund, if an impact aid fund is established, in the annual report required by section 15‑255.  Monies in the fund are considered federal monies and are not subject to legislative appropriation.

S.  For the purposes of this section, "title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance" means, for the current year, an amount equal to the final determination of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance for the fiscal year preceding the current year as confirmed by the division of impact aid, United States department of education or, if a final determination has not been made, the amount estimated by the superintendent of public instruction as confirmed by the division of impact aid, United States department of education and, for the budget year, an amount equal to the determination of title VIII of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 assistance for the fiscal year preceding the budget year as estimated by the superintendent of public instruction. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Section 15-914, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-914.  Financial and compliance audits

A.  The governing board of a school district that is required to comply with the single audit act amendments of 1996 (P.L. 104‑156; 110 Stat. 1396; 31 United States Code sections 7501 through 7507) shall contract for at least annual financial and compliance audits of financial transactions and accounts subject to the single audit act amendments of 1996 and kept by or for the school district.  The governing board of a school district that is not required to comply with the single audit act and that has adopted an expenditure budget of two million dollars $2,000,000 or more for the maintenance and operation fund pursuant to section 15‑905 shall contract for an annual financial statement audit.  The governing board of a school district that is not required to comply with the single audit act and that has adopted an expenditure budget of less than two million dollars $2,000,000 but more than seven hundred thousand dollars $700,000 for the maintenance and operation fund pursuant to section 15‑905 shall contract for a biennial financial statement audit.  An independent certified public accountant shall conduct the audit in accordance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards.  To the extent permitted by federal law, a school district that is required to participate in an annual audit pursuant to this subsection may convert to a biennial audit schedule if the previous annual audit did not contain any significant negative findings.  If a biennial audit of a school district conducted pursuant to this subsection contains any significant negative findings, the school district shall convert back to an annual audit schedule.  If a school district is required to convert back to an annual audit schedule pursuant to this subsection because of significant negative findings, the school district may subsequently convert to a biennial audit schedule if the previous two annual audits did not contain any significant negative findings.  For the purposes of this subsection, "significant negative finding" means a finding that results in the issuance of a letter of noncompliance from the auditor general.

B.  The governing board of a charter school that is required to comply with the single audit act amendments of 1996 shall contract for an annual financial and compliance audit of financial transactions and accounts subject to the single audit act amendments of 1996 and kept by or for the charter school.

C.  A charter school that is not subject to the single audit act amendments of 1996 shall contract for at least an annual financial statement audit conducted in accordance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards.  An independent certified public accountant shall conduct the audit.

D.  For all audits referred to in subsections A, B and C of this section, the independent certified public accountant shall submit a uniform system of financial records compliance questionnaire to the auditor general with the applicable audit reports.  The independent certified public accountant school district or charter school shall also send a paper copy or electronic copy of the applicable audit reports to the county school superintendent of the county where the school district is located and the department of education.  The department of education shall make the audit reports available on the department's website.

E.  Contracts for all financial and compliance audits and financial statement audits and the completed audits shall be approved by the auditor general as provided in section 41‑1279.21.  Contracts for all financial and compliance audits and financial statement audits shall comply with the rules for competitive sealed proposals as prescribed by the state board of education in section 15‑213.

F.  If the school district or charter school will incur costs of financial and compliance audits for the budget year, the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school may increase its base support level for the budget year by an amount equal to the amount expended for the district's or charter school's financial and compliance audits in the year before the current year, increased by the growth rate as prescribed by law, subject to appropriation.  In determining the amount expended for the district's or charter school's financial and compliance audits, the school district or charter school shall include only the portion of the audit that must be paid from monies other than federal monies.  The department of education and the auditor general shall prescribe a method for determining the increase in the base support level and shall include in the maintenance and operation section of the budget format, as provided in section 15‑903, a separate line for financial and compliance audits expenditures.

G.  Every audit contract shall include a systematic review of average daily membership, as defined in section 15‑901, using methodology that is consistent with guidelines established by the auditor general.  The auditor general shall consider cost when establishing guidelines pursuant to this subsection and, to the extent possible, shall attempt to minimize the cost of the review.  The purpose of the review is to determine whether the average daily membership reported by the charter school or school district is in compliance complies with the laws of this state and the uniform systems of financial records for charter schools and school districts.

H.  A school district governing board or a charter school governing body shall publicly accept all AUDITS and COMPLIANCE QUESTIONNAIRES by roll call vote. END_STATUTE