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Spring ISD Receives ‘Transparency Star’ for Financial Accountability from Texas Comptroller

Spring ISD staff members Gerardo Rochin, Alisha Kennedy and Rony Canales celebrate the district's Transparency Star award
Spring ISD Records Manager Gerardo Rochin, from left, joins Budget Manager Alisha Kennedy and Web Specialist Rony Canales in celebrating the Transparency Star award from the Texas Comptroller. The three district staff members help spearhead the financial transparency work that led to the award.

HOUSTON – Oct. 25, 2019 – In recognition of the district’s ongoing efforts to ensure greater accountability and transparency, Spring ISD was awarded a Transparency Star by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Comptroller Glenn Hegar recently announced Spring ISD as among the latest local government entities to achieve the transparency goals outlined through the state’s Transparency Stars program.

“By providing meaningful financial data in addition to visual tools and analysis of its revenues and expenditures, Spring ISD has shown a true commitment to Texas taxpayers. This effort achieves the goals set by my office’s Transparency Stars program,” Hegar said in a press release. “I am pleased to award Spring ISD a star for its accomplishments.”

Spring ISD received a Transparency Star in the category of Traditional Finances, which recognizes entities for their outstanding efforts in making their spending and revenue information available. Specifically, the award spotlights entities that, in addition to making important financial documents easily accessible, also offer additional materials such as fiscal summaries, visualizations and charts, downloadable data and other helpful resources.

“We’re honored to receive this award from Comptroller Hegar in recognition of all the district’s work to communicate openly and honestly with our community,” said Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks. “As a district, we’ve made a commitment to being a trusted source of information for the people we serve, and the Transparency Star is a great acknowledgement of those efforts.”

The program recognizes local government entities that provide easy online access to important financial data, making the district’s dedicated financial transparency website an important factor in Spring ISD’s success in the program. The site includes an overview of district revenues and expenditures, along with links to official annual budgets, check registers, debt obligation summaries, and Spring ISD’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Popular Annual Financial Report.

Spring ISD Budget Manager Alisha Kennedy, whose behind-the-scenes work and attention to detail helped secure the state recognition, said the award sends a positive message about the district’s dedication to open communication.

“Having been tasked with gathering and submitting the necessary data for the Transparency Star Award, I took great pride in being able to showcase the district’s financial transparency,” Kennedy said. “As a parent, taxpayer and employee of Spring ISD, I feel it is extremely important our community knows how the district spends their tax dollars.”

The Transparency Stars program was launched in 2016 to recognize cities, counties and school districts making strides toward greater openness in their financial reporting. After earning the initial star for Traditional Finances, other stars can also be earned in areas such as Contracts and Procurement, Economic Development and Debt Obligations. For more information on the program, visit the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars website.