By Travis Smola
Schoolcraft Public Schools have earned a perfect fiscal wellness score for the third year in a row from Munetrix, an Auburn Hills-based data management and analytical company.
The district was one of 36 in the state of Michigan to earn a perfect score over the last three years. “It’s a district-wide philosophy and culture,” Finance Director Rita Broekema said of the climate that allowed the district to make the list.
Munetrix is one of the primary companies in the state that analyzes school financial data and puts it into easier-to-understand formats. The company looks at many different data points and uses various algorithms to produce a score on a 0-10 scale to indicate how well schools are doing financially.
Data points that can have an impact on a school’s score include considerations such as a school’s fund balance or student count. Broekema said a fluctuating student count could indicate problems for a district since it receives funding on a per-pupil basis.
On Munetrix’s scale, a score of 10 indicates high risk or poor fiscal wellness. Schoolcraft earned a perfect score of zero for the last three years in a row.
Broekema said all the district’s financial discussions and decisions are centered on what is best for the students in the district. She also said everyone around her has also taken a personal ownership in being fiscally solvent and involved in the budgeting process. She gave a lot of credit to the culture of the district in embracing this philosophy.
“It’s just Schoolcraft culture doing its job,” Broekema said.
While Broekema is modest about the district being honored for its financial success, Superintendent Rusty Stitt made a point of highlighting it at the February school board meeting.
“Hats off to Rita and the whole staff for being fiscally responsible,” Stitt said.
The members of the board agreed. “It’s great recognition for the school and we’re proud always of Dr. Stitt and Rita and the leadership they provide,” Trustee Jason Walther said.