An early warning system aimed at reducing the number of school districts that end up in the red appears to be doing its job, the top financial officer with the Iowa Department of Education told state leaders Thursday.
Sixteen of Iowa’s 351 districts were found to have spent beyond their means for at least two consecutive years when the monitoring program began in 2007. Last year, only six districts fell into that category.
The number of school systems with projected deficits has also decreased in recent years, Jeff Berger, deputy director of the department’s finance division, told the state Board of Education.
Nearly a third of Iowa’s school systems were flagged in 2009 as being in danger of overspending based on budget and enrollment projections. This year, a budget analysis showed 27 districts have future projected budget deficits.