Members Attending: Jennifer Charles, Tracey Fiereck, Janet Halonen, Chuck Herdegen, Stella Johnson, Lorrie Larson, Heidi Miller, David Peterson, Sarah Slaby, Jeff Yeager
Members Absent: Tiffany Rodning, Dianna Groskreutz, Greg Hierlinger, Stella Johnson, Willie Larson, Nancy Schulzetenberg
MDE Staff Attending: Audrey Bomstad, David Day, Karen Dykoski, Sarah Miller
Guests: Jill Guhlke – Region V (in Dianna Groskreutz’s absence)
Call to Order: Chair Janet Halonen called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.
Agenda Approval: Tracey Fiereck made the motion to approve the agenda and Jeff Yeager seconded the motion.
Meeting Minutes: The committee approved the April 16, 2013 meeting minutes.
Staff Development – Deletion of Finance Codes 306, 307, 308 for FY 2014
The committee discussed the deletion of Staff Development Finance Codes 306, 307 and 308. Effective July 1, 2012 (2011 First Special Session Laws, Chapter 11, Article 1, section 35), school boards were no longer required to allocate a percentage of staff development funds in Finance Codes:
The committee agreed that Finance Codes 306, 307 and 308 could be deleted in the FY 2014 UFARS Manual for state reporting purposes. These codes may still be used locally as needed and then cross-walked to Finance Code 316.
Beginning January 2014, employers will be subject to a number of health insurance requirements and potential penalties. The committee discussed options to either revise the existing Object Code 896 – Taxes, Special Assessments and Interest Penalties or to create a new object code to record these new health care penalties. The general consensus was to create a new object code to identify statewide ACA penalties, if requested. Object Code 897 would be added to record Affordable Care Act (ACA) Penalties.
On behalf of Dianna Groskreutz, Jill Gulke (Region V) requested that the end of the UFARS chapters include dates for additions, changes and deletions as they occur in each published version of the UFARS Manual. The committee agreed and this will be an inclusion in the new FY 2014 UFARS Manual.
Karen Dykoski reported that the budget submission process for school financial data would continue to be reviewed for future implementation. As previously discussed, a past UFARS grid had been set up to include the flags U=Unaudited, A=Audited, and B=Budget. The UFARS team will do some research to determine if approved software vendors have retained this information in their databases. This will be a future Advisory Committee agenda item for discussion. Audrey Bomstad suggested including the UFARS Redesign Committee into the process.
Karen Dykoski presented an overview and documentation on Minnesota Early Learning Scholarship Guidance. The scholarship program was created to increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for children prior to kindergarten with the highest need in order to improve school readiness of all young children. Beginning in 2014, approximately 23 million will be available to distribute to eligible 3-4 year olds in two programs – Pathway I and Pathway II. The new scholarship programs will affect approximately 9 percent of eligible 3-4 year olds in Minnesota who live in thirteen established geographic regions. The scholarships will be awarded to eligible children through an application process. Up to $5,000 per scholarship will be awarded for a 12-month period. MDE anticipates 4,000 scholarships awarded per year.
Tracey Fiereck presented an overview of the Capital Subcommittee’s recommendations. The subcommittee met on several occasions to review current UFARS operating capital language and how it related to current statutory language (Minn. Stat. § 126C.10, subd. 14). The subcommittee also assessed current federal guidelines from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The Capital Subcommittee recommended the following revisions to the 400 Series (Supplies and Materials) and the 500 Series (Capital Expenditures):
Chapter 4 Section Introductions
Revisions were made to both Introductions for the 400 Series – Supplies and Materials and the 500 Series – Capital Expenditures.
Object Code Title or Description Changes:
Chapter 10 Grid – Table for Permitted Code Combinations for Expenditures from the Restricted/Reserved for Operating Capital (Fund Balance Code 424), in the General Fund
All table columns, “Activity”, “Equipment/ Finance 302” and” Facilities/Finance 302and Program 850 only” were reviewed and revised by the Capital Subcommittee. Audrey requested the table to also include statutory references.
The creation of two new program codes was discussed in length in regards to reporting indirect costs. The subcommittee mentioned that the two new program codes were technology related, but a very specific piece of technology – support. The subcommittee reported that the intent of the operating capital discussions and revisions to the UFARS Manual revolved around statute, federal guidelines and to simplify and clarify operating capital expenditures for reporting purposes. It was agreed that there would still be some review and revision involved in finalizing all recommended code changes.
Karen Dykoski discussed Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 63, 67 and 68 and how it may affect UFARS descriptions with the introduction of “deferred revenue” and “inflows/outflows” verbiage in the new GASB statements. The committee discussed implementation of new terminology and compliance issues for Financial Management to address when considering UFARS description revisions. As was presented by Darwin Vicker in the April 16, 2013 Advisory Committee meeting, “There are no significant changes to accounting for pensions in governmental funds; it will not impact UFARS but will affect entity-wide statements”. Karen would do further research in regards to GASB 63 and consideration of UFARS description revisions to reflect the new GASB Statements 63, 67 and 68 guidance.
David Day reported that the MAFA (Student Activity Accounting Manual) subcommittee had met to begin reviewing/revising the current documentation found in Chapter 14 of the UFARS Manual. Dianna Groskreutz had done some initial research to acquire copies of current student activity policies from Local Education Agencies (LEAs). Additional research and work on the manual would continue with a goal of completion by FY 2015.
With the addition of the Career and Technical Education aid component in the 2013 Legislation, the committee discussed necessary UFARS code revisions and reporting of the new aid component. The new aid component clarifies the expenditure calculations for career and technical programs offered jointly by school districts. The Special Education and Financial Management program areas discussed the revision of Object Code 396 for Career and Technical Education expenditure coding. Currently, Object Code 396 – Special Education Salary Purchased from Another District has been used exclusively by Special Education programs. The committee also discussed the inclusion and revision of the benefits Object Code 397 – Special Education Benefits Purchased from Another District. After further discussion, the committee agreed that benefits would not be an appropriate change; only the salary object code would apply. Revisions to Object Code 396 and Finance Code 830 – Career and Technical Aid and Levy would be implemented.
UFARS Redesign Committee
New descriptions for 130 and 630 – use NCES for program description
Budget Submission – consider implementation in FY 2015.
It was noted that the Summer Levy System may be available by the end of August. Minnesota Statute requires this system to be available by September 8, 2013
Jeff Yeager made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Heidi Miller seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.
The next Advisory Committee Meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2013.