Rating high on finance: School board spends thousands on travel

SAN BENITO — The greyhounds have scored superior.

According to the state’s financial accountability rating, San Benito scored 73 out of 100, which is basically an A.

The study grades the district on current investments, cash on hand, assets, current liabilities, revenues and expenditures.

Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega said according to state law, they have to share this information in a public hearing.

But, Vega said it all goes back to what the district is trying to do in moving it forward to meeting that “gold standard.”

It’s also about sharing this information and being open with taxpayers about the financial status of the district, he said.

The 2015-2016 ratings are based on data from 2014-2015.

The state’s rating system, also known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, ensures public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices.

The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

As per state law, the data was presented to the public via a hearing by Hilda Rendon, Executive Director of Finance and Operations.

In 2013-2014, the indicators were limited to five. This year, they added 10 additional indicators.

Comparing this year to the year before, two indicators were not met.

According to the report, the district scored a two for the number of days of cash on hand and current investments in the general fund for the school district sufficient to cover operating expenditures.

The possible score the district could have received in this category was 10.

Based on the current status of the district, Rendon said district officials should expect a better score next year.

“It would be fair to estimate that our most current year, which is the one we’ve made the most current changes with, we do expect to be better,” said Board Member Arnold Padilla.

Reporting requirements of the finances include five disclosures.

Those are the publication of Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega’s contract which is online, reimbursements received by the superintendent and board members, outside compensation and fees, gifts received and business transactions between school district and board members.

The report also brought some concerning information to light, at least according to one board member.

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