School district financial risk analysis

Antelope Union High School District—Among the highest-risk districts

General information
County Yuma County
Operational peer group (FY 2023) 12
Legislative district(s) 23 and 25
School information FY 2022 FY 2023
Students attending 194 198
Number of schools 1 1

Summary of risks identified

Antelope Union High School District is among the highest-risk districts due to its operating and capital budget limit reserves, General Fund operating reserve ratio, General Fund operating margin ratio, General Fund change in fund balance, capital monies redirected to operations, and receivership status as shown on the measure cards below.

The District was among the highest-risk districts in our December 2020 report but improved some measures and moved out of that group in our December 2021 report. However, that report also indicated that the District could move back into the highest-risk group if it did not continue to eliminate its deficit General Fund balance and address all prior year budgetary overspending or if it experienced substantial decreases in weighted student counts (WSC). Although it was not among the highest-risk districts, the District continued to report a deficit General Fund balance and budgetary overspending in our December 2022 report.

While not within the high-risk threshold, the District’s weighted student count has declined 7.5 percent since fiscal year (FY) 2020 and a 4.1 percent decrease in FY 2024, to date, reducing its student-count-generated revenues and budget limits. The District has incurred a deficit General Fund balance since at least FY 2017 and by not reducing spending within available revenues in FY 2023 (i.e., negative operating margin), the District worsened its deficit to almost $(500,000). The District has registered warrants with the County Treasurer for several years to accommodate spending with its cash deficit, incurring a $1.3 million balance at the end of FY 2022 and over $73,000 in related borrowing costs in both FYs 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the District has overspent its operating budget limit every year since FY 2018 and overspent its capital budget limit in 4 of the last 6 years, including overspending its FY 2023 operating and capital budget limits by over $38,000 and $13,000, respectively. On average since FY 2020, the District redirected 45.8 percent of its capital monies to operational spending, which lessened its operating budget overspending, but contributed to its capital budget overspending. The State Board of Education appointed the District a financial receiver in June 2023, in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes §15-103, related to the District’s budgetary overspending. The District reported using almost $1.3 million from COVID-19 federal relief monies in FYs 2020 through 2023 with only $17,000 remaining to spend as of June 30, 2023. As these are one-time monies, to avoid future financial risk and to ensure it will be able to spend within its available cash resources and budget capacity when these relief monies run out or are no longer available to spend after September 30, 2024, the District should plan how it will adjust spending in areas where it used relief monies.

District response

The district is working with the district governing board and community on being transparent on ALL finances and day to day school operations. So far, the district is seeing positive results from the proactive approach. FY22 the district saw over expenditures of ($311,877), FY23 the district had over expenditures of ($38,585) this is an 85% decrease in one year. The district is identifying cost saving measures such as energy improvement, not approving overtime, and limiting district purchase orders. With the district entering receivership, this is a major cost to the district and the district working together with the receiver are working to limit the costs of the receiver. The district has put a hold on all capital expenditures. The district is working closely with the Arizona Department of Administration Division of School Facilities (SFD) to address district capital needs. The district and receiver are working to reduce expenditures and also working with Yuma County to collect past revenue the district never received that they should have. The district is working closely with the receiver to cut expenditures in the M&O fund. This will reduce the need to use DAA funds to offset the M&O expenditures. The district is anticipating seeing the full cost savings measures happen in FY25.The district is working with counselors to correctly identify students in the SPED area. There are currently misidentified students in the SPED group that are actively being updated. The estimated budget capacity for SPED students, once the students are placed in their correct SPED group, is projected to increase the general budget limit by $50,000. The district has several accounts that have negative balances, these will continue to be an audit finding until the district can accumulate a reserve in the general fund to cover the amount owed in these accounts. The district is projected to be in receivership for 3-5 years. However, in years 2-5 the district is projecting a major reduction in receiver oversight and fees.

Analysis and data

Additional information about each measure, including how each measure was calculated and how districts were identified as high risk for each measure, is available on the Measures page.

Change in weighted
student count

-4.1% -7.5%
(1-year change) (4-year change)

Fiscal year Group A WSC
2024 307
2023 320
2022 315
2021 323
2020 332

This measure shows a district's change in group A weighted student count (WSC) over a 1- and 4-year period. A single-year substantial decrease in WSC, or smaller but repeated decreases over more years, may expose a district to higher financial risk due to the loss of student-count-generated revenue.
High risk
Budget limit reserve—
Operating budget

87.6% 85.1%
(1-year change) (4-year change)

Fiscal year Balance
2023 ($38,585)
2022 ($311,877)
2021 ($135,983)
2020 ($219,424)
2019 ($258,480)

This measure shows how a district's Maintenance and Operation (M&O) Fund budget limit reserve has changed over a 1- and 4-year period. Declining, negative, or unfunded M&O Fund budget limit reserves indicate higher financial risk.
High risk
Budget limit reserve—
Capital budget

-100.0% 27.5%
(1-year change) (4-year change)

Fiscal year Balance
2023 ($13,129)
2022 $41,356
2021 $3,053
2020 ($7,757)
2019 ($18,115)

This measure shows how a district's Unrestricted Capital Outlay (UCO) Fund budget limit reserve has changed over a 1- and 4-year period. Declining, negative, or unfunded UCO Fund budget limit reserves indicate higher financial risk.
High risk
Financial position—
General Fund operating reserve ratio

-22.1% -3.7%
FY 2023 unaudited FY 2022 audited

Fiscal year Balance Expenditures
2023 unaudited ($496,942) $2,249,114
2022 audited ($96,566) $2,614,075

This measure shows the percent of General Fund monies held in reserve for future spending (i.e., fund balance), compared to total spending from the prior year. A negative operating reserve ratio indicates a negative fund balance, which means the district must use monies received in the following year to cover prior-year spending.
High risk
Financial position—
General Fund operating margin ratio

-18.5% 5.7%
FY 2023 unaudited FY 2022 audited

Fiscal year Revenue Expenditures
2023 unaudited $1,898,047 $2,249,114
2022 audited $2,770,787 $2,614,075

This measure shows the percent of district General Fund revenues not spent in the year received for each of the most recent 2 years. A district with below-average operating reserves exposes itself to higher financial risk each time its spending exceeds its revenues (i.e., negative operating margin).
High risk
Financial position—
General Fund change in fund balance

-100.0% 62.5%
FY 2022 to 2023 unaudited FY 2021 to 2022 audited

Fiscal year Change amount
2022 to 2023 unaudited ($366,543)
2021 to 2022 audited $161,131

This measure shows the 1-year percentage change in a district's General Fund balance for each of the most recent 2 years. Declining fund balances or a negative fund balance in the most recent year indicate higher financial risk as less resources remain available for current and future needs.
High risk
Capital monies
redirected to operations

0.0% 45.8%
(FY 2024) (5-year average)

Fiscal year Capital monies Amount redirected
2024 $165,000 $0
2023 $148,376 $129,700
2022 $136,468 $66,797
2021 $148,855 $66,797
2020 $159,685 $76,389

This measure shows the percentage of intended capital funding the district has redirected to operational spending rather than capital spending in the current year and on average over the last 5 years. Districts that direct a substantial portion of their intended capital funding to operational spending may be at higher financial risk.
Small school budget
limit adjustment

N/A - District is too large to be eligible for adjustment.

Fiscal year Adjustment
2024 $0
2023 $0
2022 $0
2021 $0
2020 $0

This measure shows a district's additional budget capacity from a small school adjustment in the current year and each of the prior 4 years. The loss of the ability to include a small school budget limit adjustment or an unfunded small school budget limit adjustment due to a frozen tax rate may indicate higher financial risk.
Frozen
tax rate

District's primary property tax rate is not frozen.

This measure shows whether a district has a frozen primary property tax rate, limiting the District's ability to increase its property tax revenue to fund its allowable budget limits.
High risk
Receivership

District was placed in receivership in June 2023.

This measure identifies whether a district is operating under a State Board of Education-appointed receiver due to gross mismanagement or insolvency.