West Chester Area School District Participates in Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General Audit
During the 2021-22 school year, the West Chester Area School District (WCASD), along with 11 other school districts, participated in an audit performed by the Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General (DAG). The DAG’s audit objectives focused on ensuring the proper designation and use of fund balances and assessing the district’s approach to local school property taxes. The district’s conservative and long range financial and accounting practices were reflected in the conclusion to the DAG’s audit proceedings which “did not find non-compliance with law or regulations.”
Each year, school districts must balance the best interests of all stakeholders while creating engaging and effective learning environments. To ensure that the WCASD continues to maintain that balance through sound fiscal decisions and planning, the district employs an independent audit firm to conduct an annual audit. Over the last four years, the independent firms have found the district’s financial practices to be consistent with other educational agencies and organizations.
From day-to-day classroom experiences to comprehensive, long-term plans, the well-being of students, staff, families, and the community is distinctly interwoven in the financial practices of school districts. Prominent financial and school business management institutions such as Moody’s rating agency and the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) have consistently recognized the WCASD for its commitment to prudent budgeting and fiscal practices.
As one of only eight school districts out of the 500 located in Pennsylvania to receive an Aaa credit rating, the highest rating Moody’s awards, the WCASD has demonstrated consistent conservative budgeting and maintains ample reserves. “The stable outlook [of the WCASD] is based on the district's history of conservative budget management and strong fiscal controls,” stated Moody’s.
The district has also received the ASBO International’s Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award (COE) for the past 11 years. “WCASD’s participation in the COE program is a testament to your district’s commitment to transparency and high-quality financial reporting,” noted ASBO regarding WCASD’s 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report.
The WCASD also recognizes the importance of bringing awareness of financial practices to the West Chester community. The district’s Property and Finance Committee holds monthly public meetings throughout the year in which members of the business office present budget considerations, further explain fiscal decisions, and examine supporting documents to the school board and members of the public. The date, agenda, and materials for each committee meeting are posted in advance on the district’s website to encourage community understanding and participation.
The district works diligently to provide an exceptional level of education while maintaining the lowest tax rate in both Chester and Delaware Counties.