The good news? The Dallas ISD is on firm financial footing. The not-so-great news, but with a silver lining? The chief financial officer brought in to correct course feels confident enough to retire — again.
Dallas ISD CFO Larry Throm lead the board through the district’s financial report during the Dec. 13 board meeting. After his presentation, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa surprised those gathered with the announcement that Throm would retire.
“Larry has done a phenomenal job in this district and we are set for the next five years thanks to his work,” Hinojosa said.
Throm was hired in 2017, but not for the first time. He was also the district’s CFO during Hinojosa’s first tenure as superintendent. Hinojosa came back after the departure of Mike Miles, and in 2017 convinced Throm to leave retired life and come back to the district.
And how well did he do? Under Throm’s second tenure, the district met board policy of having two months of unassigned fund balance for the first time since June 2013. Throm told the board that night. The five-year financial forecast shows the district is on firm footing for the foreseeable future, too.
“For the last five years we’ve had no material weaknesses,” he told the board. “We’ve been named a low-risk auditee for the last four years.”
That distinction means that the district spends less on auditing since the auditor is paid by the hour, Throm said.
Two months of unassigned fund balance is considered a cushion for catastrophe. In Dallas ISD, roughly $120 million per month is needed to run the district, which means to be comfortable, the district needs about $240 million.
Throm also noted that administrative costs have gone down by $5 million and that the district meets the highest state standard for administrative costs.
Throm said his department also took into account that the district would continue to lose about 2,000 students per year due to moving and competition from charter schools.
The board expressed its appreciation for Throm’s work, lining up after the announcement to wish him well.
“I sleep much better knowing Larry is here,” said Edwin Flores.
“Larry, I’m going to miss ribbing you every meeting,” Joyce Foreman said after giving Throm a hug.
The other revelation of the night? Hinojosa is staying put, at least for now. The board unanimously to extend Hinojosa’s contract another two years.
His updated contract now runs through Dec. 31, 2020. He will continue to earn a salary of $335,000 per year.
Want to see a copy of the financial report? Click here.
Lots of @dallasschools staff do heroic things and go unnoticed all the time. CFO Larry Throm, who announced his second retirement from DISD (he was brought back at the request of Supt. Hinojosa), is one of those heroes. Thank you for strengthening our finances, Larry! pic.twitter.com/ln4Rgf62Vi
— Miguel Solis (@TrusteeSolis) December 14, 2018
He has done a phenomenal job and left the District in great financial condition like only he could! He will be missed. https://t.co/2WLFHmp6Gl
— Justin Henry (@TrusteeHenry) December 14, 2018
We’ll miss you, Larry! https://t.co/91fYEp5rya
— Dustin Marshall DISD (@MarshallforDISD) December 15, 2018