School Board

Yankton High School (YHS) student Lauren Bruening discuses the “Bring Change to Mind” mental-health awareness program while YHS’s Tony Beste looks on during Monday’s meeting of the Yankton School Board. The “Gift Givers” program was also discussed in the meeting’s “good news” segment. To watch a video, visit

The Yankton School District (YSD) is on track with its budget.

During Monday’s monthly school board meeting, YSD business manager Jason Bietz and Graham Forbes of accounting firm Williams and Co. went over the annual audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

“In putting together this audit, we go through financial statements, state reports, payroll records, food service operations, state aid, etc., and make sure everything is accurately accounted for,” Bietz explained. “A lot of that also involves confirmations from third-party officials, be it the county or the state.”

Doing a yearly audit is beneficial to the school district, he added.

“The documentation for internal controls and procedures minimizes the risk of fraud,” he said.

Bietz simplifies the task of putting together an audit by compiling the monetary information into a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR), which is also used when the district has to make official statement releases about its financial position or needs to borrow money in the bond market.

“It gets (us) better rates and is very substantial when we do have a need to borrow (funds), so we’ll continue doing it,” Bietz said.

Forbes highlighted certain pages of the YSD CAFR, including the page that showed a net change in fund balances of approximately $230,000.

“It’s a slight decrease, but I think when you look at the budget of $19 million, you can call that a stable year,” he said.

The report also includes a budget comparison schedule, where the amounts from the approved final budget are compared to the actual results from the year, which this year showed the district under-budget by about $540,000, “which is overall positive,” Forbes said.

The full CAFR is available on the YSD website, which Bietz encourages the public to view.

“There are all kinds of comparisons about financial trends and different capacity calculations on revenue, debt and just general information,” he said. “If you’re a numbers person, it’s a good thing to view.”

 YSD Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kindle also addressed the upcoming South Dakota legislative session and expressed concern about Gov. Kristi Noem potentially not raising state aid for teacher salaries in the proposed 2021 budget.

“That certainly puts a stronger emphasis on the need for our opt-out, which will become more critical if they’re seriously considering no additional funding to education next year,” he said.

During Monday’s meeting, the school board also:

• Heard an update on the YSD English Language Learners program;

• Approved Lincoln Elementary School Principal Paul Struck’s retirement, effective at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year; and

• Approved a four-year service contract with Vast Broadband.

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