DISD Says It's Finishing the Year Up $23 Mil?

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The Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees will receive yet another briefing on the 2010-'11 budget Thursday -- here's that PowerPoint for those who like to get head starts on such things. But today, the district sends word that this year's budget wraps up with a ... this can't be right ... "minimum surplus of $23 million." And if that projection holds, says the district's news release, that would up DISD's fund balance to "a minimum of $60 million by the end of the current fiscal year." When I told this to Schutze, he could only say, "Huh. How the hell did they do that?"

While Jim tracks down the answer to that question, here's Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's response: "Chief Financial Officer Larry Throm put in place strict spending controls to achieve this surplus, which may be even more than $23 million when the books for this school year are finally closed." Next year, textbooks for everyone!

The full release follows:
DALLAS ISD PROJECTS $23 MILLION BUDGET SURPLUS
Fund Balance Increases to At Least $60 Million

DALLAS-The Dallas ISD today projected a minimum surplus of $23 million for the 2009-2010 school year, which would increase the district's fund balance to a minimum of $60 million by the end of the current fiscal year.

The projected surplus for the current fiscal year is a major step forward in rebuilding the district's financial reserves. The district made the announcement on its Facebook page today.

"Chief Financial Officer Larry Throm put in place strict spending controls to achieve this surplus, which may be even more than $23 million when the books for this school year are finally closed," said Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa. "Mr. Throm and his staff deserve tremendous credit in managing the district's finances during the last year and a half. While there is still a long way to go to achieving pre-2008 levels, this is a vast improvement over the last two years."

Throm said that he and his staff have spent considerable time realigning the district's financial coding structure so that it matches that of every other school district in the state.

"That has helped paint a clearer picture of the district's finances and allowed us to hold the line on staffing formulas. If we continue to do this, we will be able to rebuild our financial reserves to pre-2008 levels in a couple of years," he said.

The Board of Trustees will receive a full briefing on the projections for the surplus during its briefing to be held Thursday.


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