When people hear “School Finance” in the news here recently, it is typically closely tied to the lawsuits that are currently underway, citing inequitable or inadequate public school funding. However, if it wasn’t for the lawsuits, most people wouldn’t even think about school finance. People tend to focus on our students’ academic and extracurricular activities and not necessarily how the supplies that are used for those activities are purchased, or how the faculty members that inspire our students get paid. I know that when I was in school, I never thought about it either. But that’s ok; that’s how it should be.
However, I do want to make sure the community knows that staff members at Llano ISD work hard to make sure “school finance” is done right, and we are doing what we can to continue to make Llano ISD fiscally stable, even with the instability at the state level. I think it’s important to highlight some of the great accomplishments Llano ISD has received in the financial arena this year.
For the eighth consecutive year, Llano ISD has received a “Superior Achievement” on its Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report. The FIRST rating basically monitors the financial health of a school district, testing areas such as district savings, good audit reports, reasonable administrative costs for the district’s size, timely filing of reports, and various other items. Out of 20 different areas checked last year, Llano ISD earned full points for all but one area, scoring essentially 99%.
On October 29, Llano ISD was recognized by the Texas Comptroller’s Office with a Leadership Circle Gold Award. The Leadership Circle recognizes local governments across Texas that are striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online. The “Gold” designation highlights those entities that are setting the bar in their transparency efforts. What this really means is that it has been determined that the school district strives to provide major financial information on our website. The administration recognizes that we have been entrusted with public funds and it is our responsibility to spend it with care while also making the financial information easily accessible to the public. We are very proud to be able to say we are one of only approximately 100 districts in the state that have received this Gold distinction for the year.
If you want to access our financial information on our website, go to: www.llanoisd.org and click “Financial Transparency” on the right side under the Quicklinks menu.
These achievements, among others, are something that not only Llano ISD can be proud of, but also the entire community. I have only served a few years as the Llano ISD Chief Financial Officer, but it is very apparent to me that the patrons of Llano ISD are passionate about “getting it right” when it comes to the education of the children of this community. That passion in the community and within the district makes me proud to work here. You can rest assured that the business office will always strive to “get it right” when it comes to the school finances for Llano ISD.