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LISD receives high marks in financial rating

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Livingston ISD LogoFrom Enterprise Staff

The November meeting of the LISD Board of Trustees opened with a Public Hearing for the FIRST report. The state’s school financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve these practices. LISD Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson presented the report to the Board.

“The FIRST ratings are based on 20 different indicators, the district received a perfect score on all indicators,” Davidson said. 

The indicators include current asset to current liability ratios and long-term liabilities to total asset ratios.

“We are fortunate to have Ben and his staff work so diligently in managing the finances of the district,” LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins said. “The district has an external audit each year, which combs through all district financial expenditures that are made on a daily basis, as well as ensuring that the district has financial controls in place to ensure that fraud does not exist and that the financial reports are represented of factual standing.”

Board officers were elected, Bea Ellis will serve as board president, John Allen Slocomb as vice president, and Kevin Wooten will serve as secretary of record.

Approved from consent agenda items were minutes from previous board meetings, the financial statement, payment of bills, personal property donations, overnight trips, and an amendment to the LISD 403b Plan Document. The IRS has recently enacted new regulations for 403b plans. The amendment allows the LISD plan document to comply with new regulations.  

The board also approved an action item regarding clinical teaching pay for student teachers.  

“We generally have 10 student teachers, but the college students are going to districts that are paying for this training,” Hawkins said. “The recommendation is to pay a flat fee to 10 student teachers in the amount of $100 per day, so that LISD may competitively recruit student teachers. They are hired to work for 70 days. In the past, these positions have been filled by students attending Stephen F. Austin State University, Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, Texas A&M, and the University of Houston.”

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