Starting off the new year with great news
Dear GISD Family,
I have great news to share! After significant time and effort, our work to make Greenville ISD shine both academically and financially is coming to fruition. There were two significant reports at last night’s School Board meeting that affirmed measurable progress.
I want to celebrate with you, and also thank you for believing in our schools and our students. As you may know, GISD had to pass a deficit budget in 2017-18, and employees went without raises that year. We tightened our belts and were able to turn a projected budget deficit into a budget surplus. Now we are back on track, and we are rebuilding our fund balance.
I want to thank our principals and teachers for their ability to do more with less while at the same time providing excellent classroom instruction that resulted in higher student achievement. We also appreciate the commitment that was evident across the community.
Here are some details from the reports that reflected significant gains in both academic performance and financial management.
Accountability and testing data from the state continue to track significant progress in student performance. At the January 15 meeting, the Texas Academic Performance Report was presented during a public hearing. Highlights include:
- Greenville ISD is an accredited school district earning an accountability rating of “B” in the state’s A-F rating system
- All campuses met standard
- All GISD campuses meet the criteria for Safe Schools
- Campus plans are in place to continue the forward momentum in student growth and performance
Greenville ISD is financially sound, as confirmed by a positive audit from Rutherford, Taylor & Company, P.C. The auditor conducted a thorough review of GISD’s financial statements, budget information, expenditures and revenue and found the district to be in good financial state with a positive net position.
The audit that we received pertained only to the 2017-18 school year budget. It does not relate to the 2018-19 school year budget, nor does it relate to the 2018 Tax Ratification Election. But it does tell a story of how GISD was able to turn around a $2.7 million deficit budget to be a $1.6 million surplus budget. We had our work cut out for us last school year, and we rose to the occasion. Now the district’s net position is in the black rather than in the red, and we are able to rebuild our fund balance, which is a top goal of the GISD School Board and Administration.
The audit is a thorough examination of all expenditures and revenues associated with the 2017-18 school year. And regaining our financial stability paved the way for a balanced budget in 2018-19 and the ability to devote $1.6 million to GISD’s fund balance. Balancing the budget and rebuilding fund balance were among the top goals of the GISD School Board and me as your Superintendent.
Highlights of the audit include:
- Confirmation of sound financial practices and the accuracy of GISD’s financial statements.
- Auditors confirmed that, as of August 31, 2018, the district’s financial position was in the black by more than $1.6 million.
- Maintaining a fund balance of 25% of annual operating expenses is a goal of the school district and is a best practice. As of Aug. 31, 2018, GISD’s fund balance was $9.1 million, with more than $1.6 million added in the 2017-18 school year.
- It is important that school districts maintain a fund balance to:
- demonstrate financial stability
- enhance district bond ratings for lower interest rates
- be financially prepared for unexpected expenses, emergencies and fluctuations
Although it is unrelated to the 2017-18 school year budget report and audit, I also want to thank our voters for approving a Tax Ratification Election in November. Thanks to our voters, GISD was able to give teachers and other employees the raise they deserved after going for a year with no pay increase. Fair compensation allows us to attract and retain excellent teachers, which translates into better instruction in the classroom and higher student achievement.
It’s such a pleasure to celebrate these two milestones with you, the Greenville ISD community. I want to personally thank you for the honor of serving as your superintendent.
Make it a great day and let me know what I can do for you.
Demetrus Liggins, Ph.D.