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Education, K-12, News, Press Releases

Munetrix Named 2022 CODiE Award Finalist in Three Catgories

Solution for Schools Named Finalist in Categories for Administration, Data Management, and Education

We are proud to announce that the Munetrix School Edition was named a 2022 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in three categories: Best Administrative Solution, Best Data Management Solution, and Best Emerging Education Technology Solution for Administrators. CODiE finalists represent the best products, services and people in the education and business technology industries.

The Munetrix School Enterprise Edition is a comprehensive, all-in-one solution for school districts looking to create a district-wide culture of community through trust, teamwork and transparency. From financials, human resources and business processes to educator evaluations and student progress reporting, the Munetrix Enterprise Edition features easy-to-adopt and easy-to-use modules that facilitate simpler and more robust forecasting, planning and performance management. The product is a comprehensive suite of powerful, interdependent solutions that takes multi-level, complex data sets and makes them simple to understand, report and act upon, including: achievement and growth data, student reporting, needs assessment, educator evaluation, and progress monitoring, as well as financial budgeting, forecasting and modeling.

The SIIA CODiE Awards, the long-running, premier awards program for the software and information industries are produced by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software, education, media and digital content industries. Munetrix was picked as a finalist across 47 education technology categories, including new categories in education and leadership.

“The 2022 CODiE Award finalists highlight the products and people who drove their industries forward through innovative products and leadership in these uncertain times,” said SIIA President Jeff Joseph. “These honorees continue the proud tradition of CODiE Award finalists of recognizing the most impactful products, services and leaders of their time, setting a foundation for the next generation of innovators. Congratulations to all who received this well-earned acknowledgment.”

Accolades and Gratitude

Judge feedback included statements such as, “The sheer volume of data that can be used in a district’s customized application of Munetrix is astounding!,” “The Munetrix platform, specifically the Financial Module is impressive…very easy to navigate and esthetically pleasing, and is very robust in the amount of features and functionality it can provide,” and, “Overall, the Munetrix School Enterprise Edition features some incredible opportunities for sharing and disseminating information among stakeholders at an educational institution.”

Munetrix CEO Buzz Brown said, “We’ve worked hard as a company and in collaboration with educators and administrators to make our school product as robust and intuitive as possible. This year, we made significant enhancements to the Financial Module, complementing the feature-rich Academic Module that we relaunched the year prior. This recognition of our industry peers by such a prestigious organization is most welcome, but hard-earned.”

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The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-recognized awards program. Finalists are determined by industry experts. CODiE Award winners will be announced during the virtual winner announcement celebrations June 8 and June 9, 2022.

Details about each finalist are listed at https://siia.net/codie/codie-finalists/.

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. Since 1986, thousands of products, services and solutions have been recognized for achieving excellence. For more information, visit siia.net/CODiE.

About Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA)

SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 450 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing companies. Our diverse members provide the critical data, content, and information that drives the global economy, informs financial networks, connects learners and educators, and drives innovation. Learn more at siia.net.

Education, K-12, News

Cities & Schools Reach Crisis Point Due to States’ Low Economic Reserves

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.

Fiscal Health, Municipal, News, Opinion

At least for now, Michigan closes the chapter on Emergency Financial Managers

By: Bob Kittle and Katrina Powell

The State of Michigan Department of the Treasury sent out a press release on June 27, 2018 announcing that for the first time in 18 years, neither a school district or municipality in Michigan has an emergency manager. You can read the press release in its entirety here, but following is an excerpt.

“LANSING, Mich. – State Treasurer Nick Khouri today announced that no Michigan municipality or school district is under state financial oversight through an emergency manager for the first time in nearly 18 years. The…announcement comes after releasing Highland Park School District from receivership under the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act. Since 2000, there has been an emergency manager providing financial oversight somewhere in Michigan.”

For many years the Emergency Financial Manager (later changed to Emergency Manager or EM) concept was regularly maligned by some constituents, citing it as an overreach of state government at the loss of local control and racially motivated. The term carpetbagger was bandied about as well. One respected national government trade publication headlined a 2012 article, Emergency Financial Managers: Michigan’s Unwelcome Savior. As local government financial advisors ourselves, (Katrina was the State-appointed City Manager for Hamtramck from 2014 to 2017) we, but especially Katrina, have been on the receiving end of some hurtful and untrue verbal attacks about roles and motives.

Municipal, News, Opinion

Can Open Checkbooks Promote Transparency In Local Governments and Prevent Theft?

The recent news in the Oakland Press about the City of Oak Park’s former clerk siphoning $433,000 out of the city’s coffers over a 2-year period made me think … would a higher level of transparency by the city have been able to thwart such an incident?

Within the Munetrix toolbox is a Dynamic Check Register that takes the transparency discussion to the next level.  Local governments have the ability to export their vendor accounts payable files directly from their accounting software into a publicly accessible, searchable database.  Some refer to this as “Open Checkbook” but it by itself is only a fraction what it takes to truly be transparent.