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FY 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Annual Audit Reflect Advancements in Financial Management and Health Deficit Elimination

October 1st, 2021

The Howard County Public School System has received an unmodified opinion from its external auditor, CohnReznick, LLP, which is included in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for fiscal year (FY) 2021. The unmodified opinion of the HCPSS financial statements certifies that the auditor found no internal control findings in financial management and that all audited financial statements, in all material respects, were found to be in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.

As the first report over the past ten years to show zero auditor findings or adverse opinions, the FY 2022 audit and CAFR represent a significant milestone reflecting HCPSS’ steadfast focus on and strategic approach to improving the financial management of the school system and eliminating the historical deficit in the HCPSS Health and Dental Fund.

The health fund deficit decreased by $9.0 million, from $18.7 to $9.7 million for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2021. With the County’s $10.0 million appropriation included in the FY 2022 budget, the elimination of the deficit is anticipated to occur this fiscal year subject to insurance claims incurred, and will be reported in the FY 2022 CAFR in September 2022.

The CAFR notes a $36.8 million Unassigned Fund Balance as of June 30, 2021, which primarily resulted from significant savings in student transportation costs, lower utility expenses, less substitute and temporary wages paid, grant funds received, and other areas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full report is posted on the HCPSS Financial Reports and Audits webpage.