Each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes has a parish-wide school district. In addition, there are five city school districts that are separate from the parish in which the municipality is located:
- City of Baker
- City of Bogalusa
- City of Central
- City of Monroe
- City of Zachary
Parish and city school districts (local school boards) are governed by elected boards. School districts are considered to be local auditees, and provide annual financial reports to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA).
Charter schools are tuition-free schools that are operated by a nonprofit organization and authorized by either a local school board or the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). There are several types of charter schools, differentiated by the type of chartering organization and other factors. Charter schools are also considered to be local auditees, and provide an annual financial report to LLA.
The legal authority for local school boards and charter schools may be found in Title 17 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. General supervision is provided by BESE and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). Reporting guidelines for local school boards may be found in the Louisiana Accounting and Uniform Governmental Handbook.
Local school boards audit reports are prepared on the governmental model (see Reporting for Local Governments). They receive a significant amount of their funding from federal and state sources, as well as from local taxes.
School board reports include school activity funds, which are funds collected and expended by booster clubs and other student organizations. LLA’s legal division has published a frequently-asked questions document regarding school activity funds that is available on LLA’s website. School boards often engage a CPA firm to perform a separate audit or agreed-upon procedures engagement relative to school activity funds.
Many local school boards collect and distribute sales taxes on behalf of other local governments in their area. The collection and distribution of these taxes is reported in a custodial (fiduciary) fund in the local school board’s audit report (see Special Reporting – Agencies that Collect Taxes Other Than Ad Valorem Taxes).
Charter schools are set up as nonprofits, and may report on the nonprofit model (see Reporting for Nonprofits). Because charter schools have characteristics of a government agency, and receive a substantial amount of their funding from governmental sources, they may instead choose to report on the governmental model.
Local school boards are required to include in their audit report schedules of performance and statistical data. The CPA firm performing the school board’s audit also performs procedures to test the accuracy and completeness of these schedules, and reports the results of these tests in an agreed-upon procedures report that is included in the school board’s audit report. Charter schools that do not report their performance and statistical data with a local school board also provide these schedules and agreed-upon procedures report in their audit reports (See Special Reporting – School Board Performance Measures and Agreed-Upon Procedures Report).
The Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire requires local school boards to provide a statement or representation to their auditor that they have complied with LDOE requirements for the state’s minimum foundation program (MFP) and other provisions of law. The school board’s auditor is required to test the school board’s compliance with these laws.
Each charter school is also required to provide a statement or representation to their auditor on the school’s compliance with laws and regulations that are important for the charter school to follow; and the charter school’s auditor is required to test the school’s compliance with these provisions of these laws.
- Are private and parochial schools that receive local or state assistance required to report to LLA?