HISD earns state financial transparency honor

The Houston Independent School District has earned the platinum seal from the Texas State Comptroller’s Office Leadership Circle Program last week, recognizing its efforts to maintain financial transparency to taxpayers and voters.

Sixty-two districts out of more than 1,000 in the state received platinum certification from the state. Other local districts earning the honor included  the Alief, Pasedena and Tomball independent school districts.

The Comptroller’s office created the Leadership Circle program in 2009 to encourage local governments across the state to place more of their information online to increase transparency. Counties, cities, towns and school districts fill out an online form denoting whether or not they list annual financial reports, budgets, debt information and contact information for elected official online. Entities that fulfill all the requirements earn 22 points. To earn platinum status, governments must earn a total of 20 points. Gold status requires 16 points.

“We are honored to be recognized by the state for our ongoing efforts to help the public understand the district’s finances,” District Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt said in a press release. “Our goal is that within a few clicks on our website, taxpayers know exactly how their tax dollars are allocated and spent.”

The district was also recently recognized for 15 years of participation in the Association of School Business Officials International’s Meritorious Budget Awards (MBA) program. HISD is one of only two districts in the state to earn such an award.

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