Definition and purpose of the reserve


The General Fund is the primary fund used by the DeSoto Parish School Board to account for most of the School Board’s educational and instructional services.  Accordingly, the General Fund’s reserve policy is intended to provide the School Board with options when responding to unexpected issues, and to afford a buffer against shocks and other forms of risk.


A “reserve” is defined as a portion of the total fund balance.  A “fund balance” is defined as resources remaining from prior years, which are available to be budgeted and/or spent in the current year.  The six most important purposes of a reserve policy are to help:



Reserve Level and Funding OF the target Amount


The DeSoto Parish School Board commits to maintaining the following reserves.  The total target amount of all five reserves noted below shall be a minimum of 15% of total General Fund expenditures.  Additionally, the School Board requires the Superintendent, or his/her designee, to place these funds into the reserves to address unforeseen emergencies or disasters, revenue instability, and legal liability issues.



PeriodIC Review of Targets


The Superintendent shall review the General Fund reserve requirements and thresholds of this policy as a part of the annual operating budget adoption process, as well as, each time a General Fund budget revision is presented to the School Board for approval.


AUTHORITY AND Conditions for use of the Reserves


Any appropriation or use of the reserves, which would cause the total General Fund Reserve to fall below the fifteen percent (15%) minimum threshold of total General Fund expenditures, shall require formal School Board authorization, except for extreme public emergencies and as provided in the section below.


In the event of an extreme public emergency, defined by La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §38:2211 A(6)(b), as a catastrophic event which causes the loss of ability to obtain a quorum of the members of the School Board necessary to certify an emergency, the Superintendent is authorized to use General Fund  reserves for expenditures that exceed the limits set forth in the annual budget to acquire materials or supplies or  make repairs necessary for the protection of life, property or continued function of the School Board.  To the extent practical, the Superintendent or the Director of Business Services shall obtain verbal approval of at least two members of the School Board’s Executive Committee, which is composed of the School Board President, Vice President, and Chairman of the Budget/Finance Committee.




Except for the payment of expenditures to be reimbursed through Reimbursable Grants, borrowing money from any of the General Fund reserves by any other fund—even if there is a promise to repay those funds back at a later date—shall be prohibited unless it is approved by the School Board on a case-by-case basis.


For purposes of this policy, Reimbursable Grants are defined as programs or grants that are operated on a reimbursement basis, where expenses are incurred by the School Board before reimbursement is provided by the grantor.  Examples of Reimbursable Grants include, but are not limited to, Title I, IDEA, Carl Perkins, LA 4, etc.


The Superintendent shall be required to present a listing of all Reimbursable Grants to the Budget/Finance Committee monthly.  Any grant reimbursement that has not been received within 120 calendar days after the expenditure of funds, shall be noted in the Committee meeting minutes along with:



The borrowing of money from any General Fund reserve for the payment of expenditures to be reimbursed through Reimbursable Grants shall not require School Board or Committee approval.




When the total General Fund Reserve falls below fifteen percent (15%) of the total General Fund expenditures, the Superintendent shall be required to restore the reserve to the levels shown in this policy in the fiscal year that follows the decline, so that the reserves can continue to serve as a hedge against future risks.


If the total General Fund Reserve level cannot be replenished in the year following its use, the Superintendent shall be required to identify strategies and recommendations that would restore these reserves to their required levels within three (3) years of the reserves’ use.




At the end of each fiscal year, if the total General Fund Reserve exceeds the minimum target level required by this policy, the Superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to transfer the excess funds to any one of the funds listed below.



New policy:  March 6, 2014

Revised:  October 4, 2018



Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §38:2211

Board minutes, 3-6-14, 10-4-18


DeSoto Parish School Board