Esko Public Schools received a clean audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30.
According to the report approved by the Esko School Board Monday, Oct. 19, the district was expected to end the fiscal year with a deficit of around $343,000, but ended up finishing the year with a positive balance of $169,931.
The audit report by Wipfli LLP says the district ended the fiscal year in the positive for two reasons: actual revenues were $76,778 more than anticipated and actual expenditures were $436,314 less than anticipated due to the timing of various capital projects and even more savings in costs than anticipated from the distance learning.
The district has a healthy general fund balance of $3.46 million with $2.26 million in unassigned funds.
The audit report says the future of the district’s finances looks promising due to the consistent growth of enrollment over the past several years. Enrollment grew by 42 students last year. The report also said the migration of students coming in from other districts still exceeds those leaving the district. In the 2019-2020 school year, Esko lost 65 students to other districts but gained 264 students from other districts, with the most — 114 — coming in from Cloquet Public Schools.
The school district has maintained a minimum fund balance of at least 10% of the annual expenditure budget, the report says.
Between fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2020, the district’s revenues increased by $385,093 to more than $15 million. District expenses increased by $3,540,051 to more than $14.5 million with the biggest increase coming from teacher salaries.