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PATTONVILLE — An outside auditor gave Prairiland ISD a clean audit at Monday night’s meeting for the year ending June 30, and trustees learned the district received the highest score possible on a Texas Education Agency financial integrity report.

However, Prairiland Junior High and Deport Elementary campuses need academic improvement as indicated by a junior high improvement plan presented by Superintendent Jeff Ballard. Both campuses received low scores on this year’s accountability report issued in August by the state agency. Trustees are to review a Deport improvement plan next month, Ballard said.

“Your fund balance is good,” auditor Johnna McNeal of Malnory, McNeal & Co. of Paris said about the district’s $7.2 million unassigned fund balance with another $1.4 million in a committed balance for construction. McNeal recommended a minimum $3 million unassigned balance to cover operating expenses for three months. 

She did, however, caution trustees about declining food service revenues and recommended the district initiate measures to better track the number of meals served versus food costs.

The district received a superior rating and a perfect score on a 2018-19 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas report based on 2017-18 data. The report assesses the district’s financial position based on an outside audit report as well the district’s ratio of both short-term and long-term liabilities to total assets and its administrative cost ratio to instructional staff.

Trustees also nominated current board member Kelly Jeffrey for another year on the Lamar County Appraisal District Board of Directors. Entities represented by the appraisal district will vote on nominees in November to fill the five-member board of directors effective Jan. 1.

The board also approved a $750 retention supplement to be paid all staff members.

“It’s officially a retention supplement but it’s really a Christmas bonus, which the staff really appreciates,” Ballard said.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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