As experienced advisors, our team works closely with you to develop comprehensive solutions driven by data and rooted in best practice — helping you win today and anticipate tomorrow. We assist school districts to secure needed revenues for operations, capital needs, cash flow, technology, new construction, and deferred maintenance.

    Our solutions

    Baker Tilly serves as the independent financial advisor to school districts of all sizes. We guide them through the process of determining the best financial solutions for meeting the fiscal challenges they are facing — both in terms of capital improvements and operational needs.

    We take our fiduciary responsibility very seriously and represent you as a school district. Our independence from the bond underwriting assures you of the greatest objectivity in analyzing, determining and planning – whether that’s for capital improvements or operating funds.

    We quickly respond to your needs. At public hearings, we calmly, accurately and professionally answer all the financial questions your constituents – and your board – will have. We also prepare and present complicated financial information in ways that are easily understandable to help with your decision making process.

    Overview of services:

    Financial Management – As a school superintendent or business manager, you create and manage a budget so complex it could perplex a Fortune 500 CEO. Every day, you deal with multiple funding streams from federal, state and local governments, grants and other revenue sources, each with its own set of reporting requirements.

    Capital Planning – Facilities are always a challenge. Whether your enrollment is growing, declining or stable there will be capital needs considerations. If your buildings are old, you need to modernize for technology, replace infrastructure and save energy. And, oh yes, you may need the support of your constituents to make that happen, which requires a clear financial plan.

    Bond Issuance – You don’t issue bonds every day, but they are getting more common as schools meet facility needs and raise revenue for operating costs. Either way, you’ve got to get it right. The stakes are too high to risk a mistake or miss an opportunity to save. Since Baker Tilly is an independent advisor, our only priority is doing what’s best for the local governments we represent.

    Post Issuance – Unfortunately, paperwork does not go away after the bonds are sold. You as the bond issuer have a great deal of responsibility for reporting and compliance, at a time when you’d much rather pay attention to your bond-funded project. We can take those worries off your plate by providing arbitrage rebate calculations, continuing disclosure filings and other post issuance services you require.

    Referendum Services – Baker Tilly provides expertise and tools to assist school district leaders as they plan and conduct successful operating and bond levies. Through our internal expertise and strategic alliances with regional and national experts, Baker Tilly provides resources base on election research and successful practices from other districts.

    Baker Tilly professionals understand that careful attention should be given to overall debt management.

    New Book

    School Tax Elections - Planning for Success in the New Normal - 3rd Edition

    by: Don E. Lifto and Barbara Nicol

    DON E. LIFTO is a director and consultant with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP. Previously, he was a school superintendent in Minnesota for twenty-five years, having served in rural, suburban, and intermediate districts.

    BARBARA NICOL, APR, has more than thirty years of experience in the communications field. She founded Barbara Nicol Public Relations in 1990 and focuses her work on providing strategic and high-quality communications expertise to school districts and education-related organizations.

    About this book:

    Whether it is requests for bricks and mortar or more operating money, each election type and context is unique with no guarantee that a set of campaign strategies successful in one district will not fail in another community. If successful campaigns were not such a delicate balance of science and art, the key to success would have long since been discovered, resulting in significantly more school districts winning at the ballot box. As members of the baby-boom generation collectively watch their last child receive a diploma from our nation's public schools, passing school tax elections is going to be even more difficult, promising tougher battles with the electorate and tighter margins between success and failure. School Tax Elections represents a marriage of research and successful practice, presenting a comprehensive planning model for school leaders preparing for and conducting school tax elections. Information presented emphasizes systems and strategies rather than specific campaign tactics, allowing school leaders to elevate their thinking to a more comprehensive and long-range vision of election planning. The authors provide school leaders with important resources to guide their planning and execution of school tax elections.