After a third-party audit of the district’s fiscal management and efficiency, Mansfield ISD excelled in all areas compared to its peer districts.
School districts are required to undergo an efficiency audit prior to holding a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE), or Penny Swap. However, when a disaster—like COVID-19—is declared by the governor, that requirement is waived.
Out of an abundance of wanting to be transparent with the community about fiscal management, MISD chose to conduct an efficiency audit, even with the waiver in place.
The third-party audit found that Mansfield ISD received and spent fewer dollars per student than its peer districts. Peer districts are based on factors such as size, tax rate and property wealth. The audit also determined that the district spent less on administrative costs than its comparable districts.
Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu said the news is very significant because although Mansfield ISD gets less funding, the district has maintained an “A” rating with the state while earning many state and national awards for fiscal responsibility.
“What this proves to us is that we have been getting less and spending less, but doing more with it. It’s a great testament to our staff members who are committed to educating our students in their various capacities,” said Dr. Cantu. “That’s why the Mansfield ISD school board called for the Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election, or Penny Swap, on Nov. 2. We want to be able to maintain our great quality instruction and retain our quality teachers through the Penny Swap, which would generate more revenue to our educational system without increasing the overall tax rate.”
Some of the awards Mansfield ISD consistently receives for excellent fiscal responsibility and transparency are the nationally recognized Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and Meritorious Budget Award. At the state level, the district has received a Superior rating in the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for 19 consecutive years.