School Finances

To learn more about school finances including information specific to the Center Point-Urban CSD, please see below:

Dillon’s Rule:

Iowa school districts operate under Dillon’s Rule, named after Iowa Supreme Court Justice John F. Dillon.  Under Dillon’s Rule, schools and school boards are an extension of the state and the power is distributed according to the state constitution.  Therefore, schools are only allowed those powers and abilities that are specifically allowed by law. This is unlike counties and cities which use the concept of “Home Rule”.  Home Rule allows local governments to act with a certain level of autonomy not given to school districts.  

Funding Streams

Iowa schools utilize fund accounting.  Monies are distributed to districts for specific purposes and have to be accounted for within those funds or categories.  Each fund can only be used for specific purposes.  This Graphic Diagram of School Finance from the Iowa School Finance Information Service graphically shows the source of funding for each fund as well as the allowable expenses for each of those funds.

Property Tax Levy Rates

Iowa School Districts are funded by a variety of sources as noted in the Funding Streams section above.  Each year, the CPU District publishes its Outstanding Tax Levies and Maximum Levy Limits to make tax levy information readily available to the public.

Certified Budget

In accordance with Iowa Code, the Board of Education adopts and the school district certifies a  budget for the fiscal year.  The Certified Budget includes expenditures across all funds and represents the maximum that the District should spend during the fiscal year. This budget is also published for public review.  The budget may be amended during the year through procedures laid out in law.  Adopted Certified Budget

Audit Report

Iowa School Districts are required to be audited annually.  The audit must be filed with the Auditor of the State upon release to the District within nine months following the end of the fiscal year subject to the audit.  The most recent audit for the Center Point-Urbana School District can be found at this link.

Financial Health Report Card (Iowa School Performance Profiles)

The State of Iowa has created a website to meet state and federal reporting requirements for public schools.  This website contains both educational and financial data about the District.  To access the most recent Financial Health Report Care, click on the following link.

Financial Health Report

Each year the School Business Official provides the Board with an overview of the financial health of the District.  The Financial Health Report utilizes a series of financial ratios to evaluate various aspects of the District financials.  The most recent Financial Health Report can be accessed at this link.

Unspent Balance

Unspent Balance is the amount of unused district General Fund capacity to spend on behalf of students (also known as spending authority) left over at the end of the fiscal year.  This balance then carries forward into the next fiscal year.  Unspent Balance is often referred to as the district’s credit card limit as it is not a measure that is tied directly to cash.  It is a measure created by statute to determine if a school district has exceeded its total spending authority in a given year. An unspent balance can only be increased by under spending budget authority, or by obtaining additional spending authority through the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC). A comparison of the Unspent Balance Ratio between Center Point-Urbana School District, Wamac school districts, and other area districts can be found at this link.