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. Financial recovery planning is done best when it involves all stakeholders. Our community members are key stakeholders in the success of the district.
In order to build trust with our stakeholders and attend to our fiscal recovery plan, the Board is organizing and convening a Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) to serve as advisors to the Board. To the highest degree possible, the Task Force will be created from interested stakeholders who have legal, financial and/or auditing experience.
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 that we are using the general fund to its advantage, necessitates that the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee's charge be the following:
Objective: Protect and use the general fund to its best advantage.
The charge and tasks to meet this objective are as follows:
- Review allowable uses of other funds than general funds
- Ensure every dollar in restrictive account is strategically spent
- Review federal money use vs. basic education money use
- Review how best to leverage categorical funds
- Monitor key metrics and report to the Board monthly
- Identify 3-5 metrics in consultation with the District's business office. An example 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.
- Create a dashboard for data review by the Advisory Committeeand report out to the Board on a monthly-basis Report monthly to the Board. Together, the Business office and the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee Chair will co-present the data to the Board at the final regular board meeting of the month. Note: It is expected that district numbers will be the exact information as is retrieved by the Puget Sound ESD administration.
- In addition, the Board may direct the specific responsibilities of the Task Force to review any matters potentially having a significant impact on District financial recovery before the Board takes action which may include:
- Assisting the District in educating the general public concerning school finance issues, including collaborating in the creation of reader-friendly budget information
- Reviewing the District's annual audit and accompanying management letters, and submitting any comments or recommendations to the Board
- 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 approved by the Board
Scope of Authority
The charge of the Board addresses the Board's desire to establish transparency and trust in the District's fiscal recovery process. The intent of the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) is to assist the Board in a financial advisory role and not in a decision-making role. It is not the intent 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. Operations of the district may not be hindered by unreasonable requests or actions that interfere with the Board's primary objective.
The Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) shall consist of members appointed by the Board. Appointments will be for a two-year term, with a review and potential extension upon the end of term. To the highest degree possible, appointments will be made by end of October of the current school year. The Task Force will select a chair and vice chair.
Membership will consist of a minimum of six (6) Board appointees from the community, one (1) District staff member, one (1) ESD staff member, the District's Director of Finance, and one (1) student.
The District's Executive Director of Finance will serve as the staff liaison to the Task Force, and will be assisted by other District staff as needed. District consultants may be needed to assist in the work of the Task Force, depending on data and/or issues being analyzed.
The composition as per the August 9, 2018 work session agreement is 12 members as follows:
- 3 Kent School District staff members
- 1 certified employee
- 1 classified employee
- 1 administrative employee
- 2 high school students
- 2 parent teacher association (PTA) members
- 1 booster member (representing the arts)
- 1 local business member
- 1 Puget Sound Education Service District (PSESD) member
- 2 members from previous Citizens Budget Review Committees
Criteria for Selection
- Residents and taxpayers of the District attendance area, parents of children enrolled in its schools, school employees, and experts/professionals
- Financial and/or management and/or legal expertise/experience/ability to understand school district finances
- Varied backgrounds and perspective to complement existing members
- Clear communication abilities
- Minimum 75% attendance at Advisory Committee regular meetings
- Willingness to work productively with other Task Force members and District staff
Seats vacated by Task Force members appointed by the Board shall be filled through recommendations from the existing Advisory Committee members subject to Board approval.
All applications received will be reviewed and screened by two members of the District's previous Citizens Budget Review Committee (CBRC). The Board will approve and appoint members to the Task Force. The Board will seek applications to fill vacancies on the Task Force on an annual basis. Current members whose terms are set to expire may, if in good standing, be reappointed by the Board for up to three years.
Applications will be considered valid for a period of two years from the date of receipt, unless withdrawn by the applicant. All applicants will be asked to provide their professional resume, together with the application form and any other information they may deem relevant. Application forms will be available at the District's administrative offices and on the District's website.
Meetings and Procedures
- As the Fiscal Recovery process is expected to be a 3-5 year process, the Task Force will meet regularly during the school year.
- If a voting Advisory Committee member fails to attend at least 75% of the meetings in a fiscal year, this can be grounds for removal from the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee.
- It is recommended that Task Force members attend as many Board Budget and Finance meetings as possible.
- The Citizens Financial Advisory Committee may adopt other rules and procedures to govern its operations, including by-laws, subject to review and approval by the Board.
Duration of Meetings
- Citizens Financial Advisory Committee will be in place until the primary objective is met.
- Membership is expected to last a minimum of two (2) years, with meetings expected to begin by November of 2018.
- Membership and this action plan will be reviewed early in November of 2020, and determination will be made to extend the membership for another year and/or change any part of this plan.
- Replacing members would be selected by the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee, and appointed by the Board. Board would approve replacement members at a regular school board meeting.
Frequency of Meetings
- Time commitment is expected to be two hours per month in addition to attending the two regular monthly Board meetings.
- Prior to the first-time presentation to Board, Task Force will have a minimum of three (3) meetings.
- Monthly meetings are opportunities to review and discuss patterns, and prepare a report for the Board.
In consultation with the District's business office, the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee Chair will determine a process to answer Citizens Financial Advisory Committee questions by the District's business office.
Meet the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC)
On January 22, 2020 the Kent School Board approved the name change of the Fiscal Recovery Task Force to Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) to better reflect the work being done by the group. At that School Board meeting the Co-chairs also notified the board that Committee member Sharonne Navas has resigned.
The Kent School Board appointed ten recommended community applicants to the Fiscal Recovery Task Force on January 23, 2019.
- Barbara Poyner
- Yvonne Steed
- Sharonne Navas
- Zachary Thomas Kieffer
- Patrick J. Frey
- Paul Bogel
- Brooke Valentine
- Jaden Parker
- Michael T. Lewis
- Charles Hole