February 10, 2016

Bill to allow districts to use unecumbered funds would offer no relief to GE, SH schools

Danedri Thompson

Eric Hansen, Gardner-Edgerton school finance director, is fired up about legislation the Kansas House passed last week. Touted as legislation that will help schools survive through what is likely to be another lean year, the bill would allow districts to use funds designated for programs like bilingual education, vocational education, and drivers ed.

“That will have no impact on our operations. It provides us no relief. It’s merely a façade,” Hansen said.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, sponsored the bill, which he said would allow districts access to more than $357 million in various funds. Hansen said what appears to be leftover cash at the end of the fiscal year on paper are funds used to survive between July and December each year.

Most districts have a sizeable sum of money when they close out the books at the end of the year, but Hansen said those funds are used to meet obligations at the end of the calendar year.

“Payroll would not be met between November and December,” Hansen said. “Fine go ahead and take those balances away, and then you can help pay for those missed payrolls. The more I think about it, the more bogus I think it is. (O’Neal is)  trying to grasp at straws here. He seems to believe there are these silos of money tucked away somewhere. There have already been numerous schools that have informed him that there will be no affect, not one bit. He can throw our name in there as well.”

School cash balances hit a low point each December as districts wait for property tax allotments from the county.

Doug Schwinn, Spring Hill finance director, said USD 230 will finish the fiscal year with approximately $8 million cash on hand.

“It does sound like a lot,” Schwinn said. “But because we don’t get our special education  state payment until later on in the year, we have to have money starting off in our special ed fund to make those payments… The state doesn’t give you all the money up front, o you’ve got to maintain cash balances to survive.”

GE will finish the fiscal year with approximately $6.1 million in unencumbered funds. By December, district officials will have used all but $2.1 million of it.

“If you don’t have that balance to begin with, you’re going to have major problems when you get to the end of December,” Hansen said.

One month’s payroll for USD 231 is approximately $2.5 million.

“If the state slips up and misses state aid payments, you will miss payroll,” Hansen said.

In addition to unencumbered cash balances at the end of the fiscal year, many schools, like Gardner-Edgerton, sock money away in contingency reserve funds.

“That is a specific fund that schools utilize to meet rainy days,” Hansen said. “In our case that fund has been exhausted.”

GE’s contingency fund dried up last year as district officials used it to partially fill a budget hole.

“The rain has already come and gone and we’ve already used that money,” Hansen explained.


  1. Well, Mr. Hanson, you, the School Board and Gilhaus think it is okay to just sue the people, using taxpayer funds, to get more money when you get short on funds or you will charge a citizen, such as myself, $150 to answer one question about dropouts or you don’t show up to public hearings to object to the handouts given to the big boys such as the Kimberly-Clark giveaway where Annabeth Surbaugh, Chairman of the County Commissioners at the time, stated that if the school district is not here to object to the handout to Kimberly-Clark, then she saw no reason to not give the incentive. I watch those tax billings the thieves get like a hawk to make sure we get all of the money due us – it would sure help, Mr. Hanson, with all of your education that you would do the same. I also remember distinctly how the school district spent several more thousands of dollars to replace a sign at the High School that was damaged by wind – they couldn’t say NO to the local business owner who had a good deal on a taller, lighted sign for them. We don’t have any money but we spend money on stupid things like that – the priorities are totallty screwed up in my opinion. The District administration and the School Board have done nilch in my opinion to be protecting their school families interests and now you are not liking what the legislators are doing?????????? Give me a break???? The school district and the citizens should be screaming like banchees every time these worthless politicians are giving OUR TAX REVENUE away to the blackmailers and the citizens should not be paying you and others huge salaries for what little they are getting. Those huge salaries and benefits are certainly not helping things.

    I remember well when Mike Sanders, Jackson Co. Mgr. and R. Crosby Kemper, III, the Kansas City Library Chairman sued the city of Kansas City so they could get placed on the TIF Commission because the special interests and the politicians kept stealing tax revenue from the people. Those two public servants stepped up to the plate to protect the people. Who in the Sam Hill do you see doing the same here in Johnson County???? You don’t see anyone working for the people – the corrupt politicians we have here work for the big boys and the people pay the ever increasing bill. Get a copy of the list of all of the entities receiving IRBs/Pay-In-Lieu deals from the County Appraiser and check those tax bills – you probably will find many errors like I have found and where we are losing millions of school/taxing entity tax dollars. Then you might want to help me get those 38 businesses at New Century to pay their taxes and help me get those lousy politicians and bureaucrats stop giving the thieves farm designations on the appraisal of their property where you are losing millions of dollars every year. A hell of a lot could be accomplished if you could find some paid bureaucrats and elected officials start working for the people rather than the thieves.

    So, Mr. Hanson, tough toenails if you are upset – I have been upset for years and get very little, if any, help in my work to protect the citizens and get them the tax revenue due them. I have brought in over a $1 Million in tax revenue just in areound 5 or 6 years for the people that was due them – how about you and some others doing the same by doing the decent, honest thing and forcing that same decency on those who don’t have a decent bone in their bodies. You have the takers and the givers – I have been giving of myself and my time – step up to the plate, Mr. Hanson, Mr. Gilhaus, USD 231 School Board and all those in City government and demand millions of dollars that are due the people. I have figured out how to do it and I don’t even have a college degree – you should be able to have much better results than I – that is if you want to truly work for the people.

  2. Charlie Brown says:

    Great video explaining Judith’s post a little better.


  3. Gotcha!!!!!


    Former KU athletics official sentenced to prison
    The Associated Press

    The highest-ranking University of Kansas official caught in a ticket scalping conspiracy will spend nearly 57 months in prison for his part in a scheme the cost the university at least $2 million.

    Ben Kirtland, the former associate athletic director in charge of development, was sentenced Thursday and ordered to make restitution of more than $1.28 million. He also must pay $85,000 to the IRS. U.S District Judge Wesley Brown also imposed a $2 million forfeiture judgment.

    The 54-year-old Kirtland of Lenexa was in charge of fundraising for the nonprofit group that promotes Jayhawk athletics. He is the last of seven defendants to be sentenced in the scheme.


    Have you ever wondered if Lew Perkins should be indicted??????

    Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/12/2869824/former-ku-athletics-official-gets.html#ixzz1M9r7lqDq

  4. Gardner Citizen says:

    If the administration and the board is so concern with money then why did they just hire a high dollar IT person when we already have a IT Director. My understanding is that this person is from the Blue Valley district and “they were to good to pass up. If he did not accept the job then they would not hire for this position.” We add another administrator by creating another position while freezing salaries of district teachers and employees. Quit crying about the money.

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