March 4, 2013
Dear Alief ISD Key Communicator,
Considering the importance of our district’s financial standard, I want to share some good news regarding our district’s financial health with you. As you may know, school districts in Texas are required to hire a firm of licensed certified public accountants to perform an audit of their financial statements each year and issue an annual financial report. The goal of an audit is provide reasonable assurance to taxpayers that the district’s financial statements are free from material misstatement. In addition, the auditors provide a report on the district’s internal controls and compliance with federal program and funding requirements. The auditors did not identify any material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or other findings related to the district’s internal controls or compliance with federal program requirements in Alief ISD’s most recent audit (January 2013).
The report for Alief ISD is available on our web site. Alief received an unqualified or “clean” opinion from the auditors. The majority of Texas districts receive unqualified opinions; however, it is much less common for a district to go through the audit process without receiving any findings.
Alief has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the last 20-plus years. We have also received GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and ASBO’s Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for our annual budget document. Alief was recognized by the ASBO as the only school district in Texas that has received the MBA for 15 years.
Alief is also proud to have received our 10th consecutive rating of “Superior Achievement” under the School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas), a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency. The primary goal of School FIRST is to ensure quality performance in the management of school districts’ financial resources. I personally believe the FIRST system is a very effective measurement of a district’s financial health.
For the last three years, the district has received the Gold level award from the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle program which highlights annually those taxing entities that are “setting the bar” high with their financial transparency efforts.
I’m also proud to share the fact that Alief ISD’s purchasing department received with an Award of Merit with Recognized Status at the annual Texas Association of School Business (TASBO) conference. The TASBO Award of Merit (AOM) for Purchasing Operations provides recognition to school districts that are committed to following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services. Those districts that earn additional points may receive Recognized Status as part of their award. These districts are considered the most innovative in Texas.
Alief ISD is committed to continuing to maintaining the high standards financial integrity. Awards and attestations from independent outside organizations help to demonstrate the district’s commitment to financial responsibility to our community. The AISD school board and administration take this responsibility seriously.
Thank you for your continued support and interest in the Alief Independent School District by serving as a Key Communicator. Please let me know if there are any topics that you would like to have addressed in future messages.
HD Chambers Alief ISD Superintendent