School districts and charter schools require cash balances for a variety of reasons, including:
- Making upfront payments for state and federal grant programs that operate on a reimbursement basis;
- Maintaining bond ratings;
- Providing start-up costs for operating expenses when opening a new school;
- Saving money to pay for large upcoming costs, such as textbooks or capital spending.
Available cash at the end of the year is particularly important for most school district and charter schools because pre-paid risk insurance premiums are due in full to the New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority (PSIA) early in the fiscal year. This requires school districts (apart from Albuquerque Public Schools) and charter schools to pay a combined $74 million by August 10, although for FY18, PSIA agreed to allow school districts and charter schools to pay their risk premiums in three payments.