A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (Many States Are Unprepared for Next Economic Downturn) caught my attention because it highlighted a key factor adding to the fiscal stress of municipalities and schools. The article suggested that most states are unprepared for an inevitable economic downturn as they lack the necessary fiscal reserves or rainy-day funds to cushion the next financial blow, and, it’s already having a negative trickle-down effect.
Forced to do more with less since the last recession, cities and schools are continually struggling with reduced revenue sharing from their states while scrambling to meet the demands of unfunded mandates, retiree obligations, an aging infrastructure and even increased student testing. Add this to the anticipated silver tsunami caused by public sector retirements in the next decade, we see a myriad of local governments that are already stretched too thin and have reached a crisis point.
One of the most alarming things noted in the WSJ article was that some states appear to have little sense of urgency and limited tools to address these budgetary shortfalls. Forget crisis point—this dilemma will have far-reaching and long-term consequences for the populations served by those who gloss over the unavoidable hard truth and do nothing about it now.
Having knowledge is only the first step. If states can just start to get their fiscal house in order it will help put a dent in some of the issues plaguing them and their locals. Even if it’s not the end-all cure-all, some action is better than nothing. Public sector organizations, in the meantime, can also be on high alert—formulating their own budget modeling, transparency and planning solutions that will cast them in a better financial light to head off a worst-case scenario.
With our data analytics, data management and advisory services, Munetrix has been providing solutions to states, communities and school districts to help get their fiscal situation under control and avert this economic crisis. We have equipped the public sector with smart technology and the requisite transparency tools to not only get the ball rolling, but to support economic growth and development and community engagement into the distant future.
Munetrix goes beyond surface knowledge and delivers financial reporting and forecasting products like our early warning Munetrix Score; our role-based information systems that counteract some effects of the silver tsunami by letting new municipal employees track their tasks and timelines; and our Educator Evaluator tool designed specifically to simplify the process of complying with state requirements that are directed to teachers and school administrators. We are undaunted by financial situations that seem hopeless—advocating for our customers on their behalf—and strive to be a one-stop partner on this road to fiscal health.
For more specific examples on how Munetrix is helping customers improve their fiscal wellness, see our latest newsletter, Munetrix Messenger.