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MISD Earns Recognition from Texas Comptroller for Financial Transparency in the Area of Debt Obligations

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Monday, February 27, 2017

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McKinney, Texas – McKinney ISD is once again at the forefront of financial transparency among Texas public institutions as one of the first 11 school districts across the state to earn the Transparency Star Award in the area of Debt Obligations from state Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

Transparency Star Debt Obligations LogoThe Transparency Star program, which launched last March, replaced former Comptroller Susan Combs’ Leadership Circle recognition program for financial transparency. At the time it was introduced, Combs’ program brought a new level of transparency across Texas by calling on local entities to make specific financial information available online.

Under Combs’ program, MISD earned the highest possible designation for six straight years.

Hegar’s new program recognizes local governments for going above and beyond in their transparency efforts. In July, MISD earned the Transparency Star achievement for Traditional Finances, which unlocked eligibility to apply for recognition in four other areas including Debt Obligations.

“This office has always led the way in Texas’ transparency efforts, but true transparency is constantly evolving, which is why we are shining a bright light on additional areas of local government debt and spending,” Hegar said in a March press release. “While our initial transparency programs have been hugely successful, I’m proud to recognize local governments bringing more transparency to Texas taxpayers.”

According to the comptroller’s office, simply posting information is no longer sufficient; the chief aims of Hegar’s initiative are to not only provide access to a wider range of information but also to make it easier for the taxpayer to understand and analyze that information.

Thus, Hegar’s office calls for local governments and school districts to include not only items such as finance summaries of expenditures and revenues but also, for example, to provide visualizations of that information.

Required pieces in the area of Debt Obligation, such as listings of total outstanding debt, tax-supported debt expressed as total and per capita amounts and total revenue-supported debt, must provide specific information and make them searchable and organized in a way that allows users to perform analysis on raw data.

The majority of this information has already been in place on the MISD website, but the Business Office worked diligently last spring and this fall to integrate additional components—such as graphs and additional debt obligation details—on the district’s Business Services page to meet the new criteria and carry on the effort to offer the highest level of transparency for our community.

“It is with a great deal of pride that McKinney ISD receives recognition for our efforts in fiscal transparency and fiscal prudence,” MISD Chief Financial Officer Jason Bird said. “Having our efforts recognized at the state level should be a source of pride both for the district and our residents.”

For more information on the program, including guidelines and qualification criteria, visit the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars website.

The public can view McKinney ISD’s financial information by clicking here.

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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