GCPS Receives National Budgeting Award for Third Consecutive Year


P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us


Headline:       Goochland County Public Schools Receives National Budget Presentation Award

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that Goochland County Public Schools has again received the prestigious Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget presentation and communication. This national Award represents the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and has been awarded to Goochland for three consecutive years. Goochland is the smallest of the 15 school divisions in Virginia to receive the award.

“Although we’ve received this award for the past three years, it’s important to note that we are continuing to improve our document and presentation,” explained superintendent James Lane. “The ratings we receive have been increasingly higher with each award year. We are proud to continue to ensure our community that the school board is handling funds with utmost responsibility.”

For her primary responsibility and diligence in the development and presentation of the school budget, Deborah White, Finance Director, also received a Certificate of Recognition. She also had the honor to speak at two state-wide conferences this fall on school budgeting.

Left to Right: Beth Hardy, John Wright, James Lane, Debbie White, Mike Payne, Jaymi Bell, John Lumpkins, Kevin Hazzard.

“The national reviewers offer a number of suggestions for improvement every year,” explained Deborah White. “To continue to achieve the award we must show that we have incorporated their recommendations into the next year’s document. This year we worked on telling the story of the unique challenges of the division and how the budget aligned with our strategic plan to meet those challenges and maximize the potential of every learner.”

John Hendron, Director of Strategy and Innovation, collaborated with Ms. White to integrate new nationally-recommended best practices in school budget processes which intentionally align the budget with the school division’s strategic plan document. Dr. Hendron and Ms. White also participated in an all-expenses paid 2-day workshop this fall in Chicago with GFOA leaders after being selected for the Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting, a small group of school divisions across the country that are early implementers of the new best practices.

In being recognized, GCPS satisfied 14 nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications tool. During the last few budget cycles, the school board has placed special emphasis on transparency by putting a greater focus on past actual expenditures, community engagement in the process, and sharing all documents with the public.  The school board held a public hearing and a town-hall style workshop to get feedback in the development of the budget as well.

“Fiscal responsibility and transparency continue to be fundamental aspects of our governance,” said board chair John Lumpkins, Jr.. “We are honored by this award and we especially applaud Ms. White and the school administration for the exemplary work it represents.”

The Goochland County Public School Board is considered to have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other school divisions throughout North America. In addition to making both the budgeting process and associated documents accessible to the public, the board has also made its check register and credit card statements available for public review for the past three years through its website.

The Government Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit professional association serving over 17,800 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting for both schools and local governments. For more information on the GFOA recognitions, see http://www.gfoa.org/awards.

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