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BOE to OK balancing funds policy

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education recently passed a new policy to help keep the system financially sound.

As directed by the Georgia Department of Revenue, the school board passed a fund balance policy. Similar policies have been passed by other public school systems across the state.

The new policy dictates how the school system reports various fund balances.

This includes nonspendable, which are those that are legally or contractually required to be maintained intact; restricted, or those that can be spent for specific purposes stipulated by external parties; committed, or amounts that can be used only for the specific purposes determined by a former action of the school board; assigned, or those intended to be used for specific purposes; or unassigned, or those amounts not contained in other classifications and available for any legal purpose.

The policy also dictates that when multiple categories are available that the district must first expend the most restricted category before moving to the next category.

The policy is meant to instruct the board to recognize "that the maintenance of the fund balance is essential to the preservation of the financial integrity of the district and is fiscally advantageous for both the district and its taxpayers," it reads.