Dallas ISD scores highest rating in independent audit for the fourth straight year


For the fourth consecutive year, Dallas ISD has received a clean audit on its annual comprehensive financial report, meaning that the district’s independent auditor issued an “unmodified” or clean opinion and found no material weaknesses, no significant deficiencies and no compliance shortcomings in the district’s financial statements and federal programs. The unmodified opinion, issued by independent auditor Weaver and Tidwell, L.L.P., is the highest that an independent auditor can issue regarding a set of financial statements or federal programs.

“This is an excellent result for the district,” said Dallas ISD Chief Financial Officer Tamika Alford-Stephens. “It indicates to stakeholders that they can rely on the district’s financial reporting, and be assured that the district has strong internal controls and is a good steward of public funds.” The district has achieved this result annually from Fiscal Year 2019 through Fiscal Year 2023.

The audit is done each year to comply with state law. Dallas ISD prepares a comprehensive annual financial report and has its fiscal accounts, the report, and its federal programs audited by the independent auditor. The auditor issues opinions on the report and the district’s federal programs for the benefit of stakeholders such as the Board of Trustees, the public, bondholders, and state and federal agencies that need assurance that the district’s financial reporting is accurate and reliable and that the district has complied with federal program requirements.

In other measures demonstrating the high quality of Dallas ISD’s financial management practices and financial transparency, the district received strong ratings and awards for financial reporting, budgeting, and financial transparency during Fiscal 2023. Among the accolades, Dallas ISD received:

  • A “Superior Achievement” rating on the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) from the Texas Education Agency for 2023. This is the highest possible rating and demonstrates the high quality of the district’s financial management practices. This is the twelfth consecutive year that the district has achieved the top rating on School FIRST.
  • The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, and the Association Of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award, for the Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report. These certificates are the highest recognition that a public school district can receive for governmental accounting and financial reporting.
  • The Association Of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Meritorious Budget Award for the Fiscal Year 2023 Dallas ISD Budget. This award recognizes the district for achieving the highest standard a public school district can reach in the area of budget preparation and presentation.
  • A Transparency Star in the area of Contracts and Procurement from the State of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. This is the first time the Dallas ISD Procurement team has achieved such recognition from the State of Texas. The Procurement team has also earned the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) Purchasing Award of
  • Merit for the third year. This award recognizes school districts for following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services.
  • Excellent Permanent School Fund-backed bond ratings from Moody’s Investor Service (Aaa), Standards & Poor’s (AAA) and Fitch (AAA), indicating the district’s strong ability to repay debt. The district’s underlying debt ratings are Moody’s Investor Service “Aa1”, AA+ from Standard & Poor’s, and AA+ from Fitch.

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