Sealy ISD achieves another superior rating in school financial integrity

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The November meeting of the Sealy Independent School District Board of Trustees last Wednesday night started with the district’s chief financial officer, Lisa Svoboda, presenting a report from the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST.

The system rates a variety of categories such as revenues, expenditures and the timing of debt payments on a scale of 0-100 and with 92 points out of 100, Sealy once again received a superior rating on the report which was focused on the 2017-2018 school year.

The only categories where points were lost came as a matter of rounding in terms of the ratios of current assets to liabilities but Svoboda maintained Sealy ISD is in good financial standing.

“Very proud that Sealy ISD has always received a superior rating and once again we are in that superior category,” she said. “Overall, from a TEA (Texas Education Agency) standpoint and how they rate us in the financial world, we are right on track to where we need to be.”

That was reinforced by the approval of the audit on the fiscal year of 2018-2019 where a positive result was found in one of the more crucial categories.

“The most important thing is the auditor’s opinion; basically, in their opinion how do we stand?” Svoboda said. “We did receive the highest opinion rating possible which is a clean opinion meaning they don’t have any concerns about any of the finances in the district … this is one of the first things the FIRST takes a look at.”

Once that report was approved unanimously, the board unanimously approved a change in financial advisor at the recommendation of Svoboda, Lucas Janda of Live Oak Public Finance.

Janda had previously been the CFO of Leander ISD where he oversaw a budget of $500 million across the 5,000 employees and provides a fresher perspective to help advise Sealy ISD on top of a lower cost of operation.

In other action, the Sealy ISD Board of Trustees also:

  • Signed an acknowledgment of conflict of interest policy in connection with the Application for Agreement for Limitation of Appraised Value of Property for school district maintenance and operation taxes from Hailiang Copper Texas Inc., Comptroller Application #1327;
  • Approved an Amended Agreement under Texas Economic Development Act for a Limitation of Appraised Value of Property for school district maintenance and operation taxes from Hailiang Copper Texas Inc., Comptroller Application #1327;
  • Heard the district improvement plan and Response to Intervention (RTI) handbook presentations from assistant superintendent Dr. Chris Summers;
  • Approved using the Coordinated Approach To Child Health Program (CATCH) as the coordinated school health program for Sealy ISD, the multi-hazard emergency operations plan, and the medical/school health standing orders for SISD nurses from the director of special programs Mary Gajewski;
  • And approved a revision to the 2019-2020 hiring schedule for teachers from the recommendation of executive director of human resources and operation Shawn Hiatt.

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