Rockford Public Schools has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association, a prestigious award and the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. To receive the award, a district has to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. Budget documents must rate proficient by meeting 14 criteria in four categories.
The Government Finance Officers Association sponsors the only national awards program in governmental budgeting. The award means the budget functions as a comprehensive planning document and satisfies standards for transparency in the budget process, said Stacie Talbert Scott, Executive Director of Budget and Purchasing. “It’s the strictest and highest standard that includes not only school districts, but state and local levels of government,” she said.
The Association sets a high bar for budget scrutiny. “The GFOA’s requirements and guidelines are the gold standard for best practices when it comes to any type of accounting or financial practices,” said Martin McConahay, Interim Chief Financial Officer. “If you are doing things right according to GFOA, you know you are really doing things right.”
What’s more, RPS 205 was awarded the honor following the district’s first application for the award. Acceptance on a first attempt is almost unheard of, McConahay said. “To win their highest recognition for budgetary reporting the first year of submission, without going through several recommendations, edits, responses and follow-up that can span several budget cycles is an extraordinary achievement,” he said.
Scott also receives a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation as the primary person responsible for having achieved the award.
District officials also learned this month they again received the Meritorious Budget Award for excellence in budget presentation for the 2015-16 budget year. The award is from the Association of School Business Officials International. The Meritorious Budget Awards program promotes and recognizes excellence in school budget presentation and enhances school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing and presenting a school system budget. The award is given to school districts that have met or exceeded stringent criteria, following a rigorous review process.
The Association of School Business Officials International is a longstanding professional organization of 5,000 members that provides programs and services to promote the highest standards of school business management practices, professional growth, and the effective use of education resources.