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Districts need advice of financial experts

School districts are complex multimillion-dollar public corporations that should have financial expertise on hand to help guide them through these perilous fiscal times as they grapple with caps on their local revenue and state aid, with no significant mandate relief in sight.

This financial expertise comes in the form of school business officials similar to the chief financial officer of a private corporation, who should be either certified in business operations or come to schools with a private sector background in accounting, auditing or finance and qualified in the classified service.

School business officials have been able to save districts money in numerous ways ranging from knowing when to refinance debt, to rerouting bus runs to save on fuel costs, to maximizing reimbursement from federal and state aid programs, to engaging in cooperative purchasing arrangements that save money on supplies ranging from pencils to computers.

Not having a school business official is penny wise and pound foolish given how tight school finances are. School business officials are critical to long-range financial planning that can help school districts make sound decisions today that will ensure they have the resources tomorrow to provide a sound basic education to all students.

Michael J. Borges

Executive Director

New York State Association

of School Business Officials