The Saugus Union School District board approved a resolution to join a new joint powers authority group with membership consisting of other school entities at an annual cost of approximately $5,000.
“The benefit is that in the past, it’s always been people that have made money based on you doing that deal,” said Nick Heinlein, assistant superintendent of business services for the district. “With (Government Financial Strategies) as a (joint powers authority), it’s a group of school district and county offices that are coming together, that is going to provide those services strictly for educational agencies.”
According to the agenda, the Saugus district contracted with Government Financial Strategies for technical assistance and support with various financial matters including general fiscal and debt financing issues, financial modeling, analysis of general obligation bonds and more.
Government Financial Strategies transitioned into Government Financial Services Joint Powers Authority, and staff from GFS will be transferred over to assist and provide their expertise to members of the GFS JPA, which includes the founding members Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Elk Grove Unified School District, Davis Joint Unified School District, and others.
“A joint powers authority is when two or more organizations get together and create another organization,” Heinlein wrote in an email. “A great example is the Santa Clarita Valley School Food Authority. It is a JPA that was created by Newhall School District, Castaic Union School District, Sulphur Springs Union School District and Saugus Union School District to serve meals to our students.”
“So instead of each school district running a separate program, we came together and created the food service agency,” he added.
According to Heinlein, by joining this new JPA, the district will receive more access to services it would probably have had to pay for under its old contract.
“As a member, we get those services we’ll probably have to pay for if we ask for more services. We don’t have to worry about if they’re doing it just so that they can make money. They’re doing it because it’s a good deal for taxpayers and schools,” Heinlein said.