Frequently Asked Questions

What is the source of the financial information?

School systems’ annual audited financial statements serve as the primary source of the dashboard information. Specifically, information was extracted from the statement of net position for all governmental activities, the balance sheet for the governmental funds, and the statement of revenues, expenditures, and changes in fund balance. Unless otherwise specified, information reflects the general fund and special revenue fund (to identify federal and state grant funds), which account for general school system operations.

Why can’t I find my system’s financial statement?

DOAA publishes the complete financial statements for which DOAA has issued an independent auditor’s report. Financial statements for systems that contract with a private entity for the independent audit report must be obtained directly from the system.

What is the source of other information?

School system student counts (for pre-k through 12th grade) represent the full-time equivalent counts obtained by the Georgia Department of Education. Poverty rates were obtained from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which measures poverty based the percentage of students receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits, or are homeless, unaccompanied youth, foster, or migrant.

Why is information missing for my school system?

The dashboard is updated quarterly as information becomes available. Missing information (i.e., “(Blank)”) indicates the independent auditor’s report for that fiscal year has not yet been completed or submitted to DOAA.

How were fiscal health benchmarks determined?

Fiscal health scoring for each metric is based on a three-year average to mitigate the effects of outliers in a single year. Benchmarks for each fiscal health metric were determined based on industry best practices and other states’ assessments. We tested the reasonableness of the “cautionary” and “critical” benchmarks by calculating the systems’ averages and standard deviations from the mean to identify outliers for fiscal years 2018-2020. We identified the number of systems that would be categorized as “cautionary” or “critical” based on conservative and generous benchmarking and discussed the reasonableness of the results with DOAA staff to determine whether adjustments should be made.

How was the overall fiscal health rating calculated?

Each school system’s overall fiscal health was calculated based on a weighted score that assigns a number of points to each metric as well as each outlook (critical outlook for the measure results in two points, cautionary results in one point, and positive results in zero points). Solvency metrics (current ratio and asset sufficiency) were given the largest weight (2 points) because they represent a system’s ability to meet its obligations in the short-term and overall. Operating reserve ratio—which represents how long the system can use its savings to meet expenditure obligations—was given 1.5 points. The fund balance ratios were given one point. Systems that received a total of 10 to 15 points were designated as having a “critical” outlook, while those with less than 10 but 3.5 or more points were designated as “cautionary.” All other systems (i.e., fewer than 3.5 points) were designated as having a “positive” outlook.


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