The Socorro Independent School District has earned three Transparency Stars from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts program, which recognizes local governments for going above and beyond in their financial transparency efforts.
“We are proud of this recognition because it shows we are committed to maintaining a fiscally responsible budget, investing in our students and employees, while remaining transparent with our community,” said Tony Reza, SISD Chief Financial Officer.
The stars earned are for traditional finance, debt obligations and contracts and procurement. SISD is one of two school districts in the state that earned the three stars.
Via a news release, district officials added, “Team SISD is committed to maintaining financial integrity, full disclosure and responsibly managing taxpayer funds, and has earned other various other recognitions in this realm.”
For seven consecutive years, Socorro ISD has earned an A in the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas. SISD scored 98 points out of 100 possible points on the ratings, the highest among school districts in the region. The rating cites the district as accountable in financial management practices and providing the maximum allocation for instructional purposes.
The district also earned the 2016 Texas Association of School Business Officials Award of Merit for Purchasing & Operations for maintaining professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services.
In addition, the Fitch Rating Agency reaffirmed strong bond ratings for SISD maintaining its underlying financial rating of AA. Factors that support the AA rating include the district’s above average revenue growth, revenue raising capacity, strong gap-closing capacity and low fixed costs.
Moody’s Investors Service assigned SISD an Aa2 underlying bond rating based on a stable financial outlook and an Aaa enhanced rating based on a guarantee from the Texas Permanent School Fund. Moody’s cited the district’s robust financial position, large and growing tax base, and manageable pension burden.