Hutto ISD receives highest classification in state financial accountability rating

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Amid a 5-year enrollment growth of more than 20 percent, Hutto ISD scored among the top of all school districts in Texas in the state’s Financial Integrity Rating System, the district announced Thursday night.

Hutto ISD received a “superior” rating in the financial accountability test, scoring 96 points out of a possible 100.

The Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST, scores school districts across 15 separate indicators of fiscal accountability.

Those indicators identify a district’s financial stability in terms of debt, cash-on-hand, administrative costs, payment compliances, assets, enrollment and analysis from an independent auditor.

“Hutto ISD received the highest possible rating,” Jeffri Orosco, director of finance for Hutto ISD, said Thursday night.

The school district received two scores of 8 out of 10 on just two indicators, the only ratings on which the district was docked points.

Those two indicators rated whether the number of days of cash on hand and current investments for the school are sufficient to cover operating expenditures and whether the ratio of current assets to liabilities are healthy enough to cover short-term debt.

According to financial documents provided to the state, Hutto ISD has $12.7 million in cash-on-hand and equivalents, with $59.97 million in total expenditures. Further, Hutto ISD currently holds $34.99 million in assets and $11.8 million in liabilities.

“There’s a lot of indicators here that take into effect our growth,” said Glenn Graham, chief financial officer for Hutto ISD. “The state understands when you take on a lot of growth, you take on a lot of debt.”

Orosco told the Board of Trustees tonight that the school district has experienced a growth of 20.52 percent growth in students in the past five years.

In a series of financial disclosures presented Thursday night, the district showed that Hutto ISD Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas received no outside compensation or fees for personal consulting or personal services in the last fiscal year.

Additionally, no district administrators or board members received reportable gifts in the last fiscal year, and no board members had business transactions with the school district.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
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