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Finance and Operations

The Finance Department is responsible for compiling the district budget, processing payables, receivables and payroll. The department uses conservative assumptions, projections and budgeting practices to successfully manage the district’s finances. In accordance with state law, District 196 has an independent audit performed each year. Results of the annual audits are included in the annual financial report.

To ensure active community participation in and understanding of the district’s budget planning process, District 196 has a Budget Advisory Council that meets throughout the year. Find out more information about the council. 

Legal notices

Public notice of bids and/or proposals offered at this time.

Please direct questions regarding bids and proposals to Director of Finance & Operations Mark Stotts.

  • Phone: 651-423-7715
  • Fax: 651-423-7788
  • Email: Mark Stotts


Mark Stotts,
Director of Finance and Operations


Awards and honors

For the 16th year in a row, District 196 earned the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO).

ASBO has awarded District 196 its Meritorious Budget Award for excellence in budget presentation during the 2018-19 budget year.

Budget process and timelines

The complete budget cycle can be viewed as a continuous five-step process shown below. Each of these steps requires board approval and is open for public inspection and comments. The process used by the school district is mandated by state law.

Property Tax Levy

The process begins with submission of estimated property tax levy information to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) by mid-July. The MDE sets the maximum levy amount for each school district based on current legislation and formulas. This property tax levy information is reviewed, updated and certified by the Board of Education prior to the end of the calendar year. The collection of the property tax levy occurs during the calendar year and is intended to be utilized during the upcoming school year. For example, a tax levy for a coming year that is certified in December is collected in May and October of the following year and would be used for that coming school year.

Preliminary Budget

During the middle of each school year, the district moves to the second step in the process and begins development of the preliminary budget for the next school year. This process includes the completion of long-range enrollment projections, updating the five-year budget forecast, development of staffing guidelines and determination of revenue and expenditure assumptions to be included in the budget. This process also includes development of the capital expenditure budget for the next school year during the spring of the current fiscal year. The School Board must approve a budget by the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1) in which it will be used. This provides the district with spending authority as the initial estimates are revised and the actual enrollment is determined.

Final Budget

The third step in the budgeting process happens during the fall each year. The finance department updates the preliminary budget with revised estimates and staffing allocations, and develops the final budget. The revisions are based on any changes in laws that affect education finance and are based on the actual enrollment on October 1 of the current year.

Budget Adjustments

The fourth step in the process is a spring budget adjustment based on revised information; spring adjustments are primarily focused on federal and grant programs. Because of federal program requirements, the district makes these adjustments to ensure that the revised budget is closely aligned with actual expenditures for the year. This adjustment allows for accurate funding for programs and provides the most accurate basis for developing the preliminary budget for the next fiscal year.

Annual Financial Report and Audit

The fifth and final step in the process is closing the books and preparing the financial statements. This occurs during late summer each year. During this period, the district undergoes an independent audit as required by state law. The auditors render an opinion on the district’s financial statements and accounting practices. The School Board typically reviews the audited financial report in late October.

District 196 financials


Financial Reports

  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (Fiscal year ending June 30, 2020)
  • Extracurricular Audit Reports
  • Special Purpose Audit Reports


Property Tax Levy

  • 2019 Payable 2020 Property Tax Levy
  • Levy Certification Presentation


Financial Reports

  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (Fiscal year ending June 30, 2019)
  • Extracurricular Audit Reports
  • Special Purpose Audit Reports


Property Tax Levy